Southwest Airlines responds to FAA charges
March 17, 2008
Last week, I did a post on allegations by the Federal Aviation Administration about missed safety inspections by Southwest Airlines. I wanted to do another post on what Southwest is doing to respond to the charges.
On March 11, Southwest decided to temporarily remove 38 aircraft from service.
The airline took action based on preliminary findings of its internal investigation into allegations that the airlines violated FAA regulations in March 2007.
By March 12, all of Southwest's 38 aircraft reinspections were completed. The airline has resumed normal operations.
Six fuselage skin cracks were found and repaired properly, said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly in a CNN report.
Southwest's decision to remove aircraft from service resulted in approximately 4 percent of Southwest’s flights being canceled on March 11.
During a review by Southwest of its maintenance records, the airline discovered an ambiguity related to required testing.
As a result of its investigation, Southwest has placed three employees on administrative leave.
One FAA manager has been demoted in relation to the Southwest safety controversy, according to another CNN report.
"We are mindful that during Southwest's 37-year proud history, we have safely transported the population of the United States -- every man, woman, and child -- four and a half times over,” said Kelly said in a statement on Southwest's Web site. “This is a fact. We have been a safe company. I believe we are a safe company. I am committed to making sure we become safer still."
Congressional hearings on the alleged Southwest safety violations are schedule in April.
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