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FAA Delivers Hefty Fines to Southwest

Following two instances in 2013, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is fining Southwest Airlines a combined $328,550 for allegedly violating federal aviation regulations.

The first instance centered around the loss of cabin pressure on a plane in flight. While the pilots deployed air bags and scheduled an emergency landing for safety, the FAA alleges that mechanics at Southwest waited months before conducting mandatory damage inspections and replacement of oxygen tanks. Further, Southwest allegedly allowed the same plane to be flown 137 times before these mandatory checks were undertaken.

The second instance, the FAA alleges, is due to a leaking air conditioning unit on a Southwest AirTran Airways Boeing 717 airplane. Supposedly, Southwest mechanics deferred repairs of the air conditioning unit in violation of federal aviation regulations. Further, the FAA states, the mechanics failed to properly record the issue in the logbook of the airplane.

The first instance carries a $265,800 fine; the second issue is charged at $62,750. Southwest Airlines plans to contest these charges with the Federal Aviation Administration.

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