FAA proposes nearly $2 million fine for improper safety training

September 21, 2011

New York – The Federal Aviation Administration on Sept. 15 proposed a $1.9 million civil penalty against Colgan Air for allegedly not properly training flight attendants on the use of a plane’s cabin fire extinguisher system.

The agency alleges 84 newly hired attendants worked flights during a seven-day period in 2009 after FAA told the Memphis, TN-based airline that the attendants had not completed required training.

The penalty announcement comes days after the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General released a report (.pdf file) concluding FAA is doing a better job of addressing fatigue issues among pilots, a move spurred in part by a 2009 Colgan Air crash where pilot fatigue was a contributing factor.

However, the report warned that a notice of proposed rulemaking (.pdf file) meant to address the issue fails to factor in commuting, which contributes to fatigue, as many pilots reside hundreds of miles away from their assigned duty location.

Additionally, OIG pointed out that the NPRM faces stiff opposition from the airline industry, making it difficult to implement proposed changes to fatigue rules.