Air Transport World

US airlines.(NORTH AMERICA Report)(airlines forced to cancel thousands of flights )(Brief article)

US airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights in late March and April in the wake of FAA audits of their compliance with federal air-worthiness directives. The increased scrutiny followed an episode at Southwest Airlines in March in which the carrier operated 46 737 Classics for nine days in March 2007 after it had informed FAA that the aircraft were in noncompliance with an AD concerning inspections to detect fatigue cracking along fuselage window frames. The agency fined SWA a record $10.2 million for its violations, but it got off lightly compared to what happened at American Airlines.

The Southwest incident spawned a series of Congressional hearings over whether FAA was too cozy with the airline industry after an FAA inspector charged that his local supervisor deliberately overlooked safety violations at SWA and pressured inspectors to look the other way as well. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.