There is an opportunity at the beginning of most enforcement cases for informal procedures, including an informal conference with an FAA attorney, to give the alleged violator a chance to bring to the FAA's attention information favorable to it, e.g., exculpatory or mitigating evidence. During these informal procedures an enforcement action can sometimes be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
Either during the informal procedures or later in the process, cases are often settled without resort to the full litigation process. Such settlements often result after consideration of the risks and expense of litigation. Settlements may reflect a lower civil penalty amount, sometimes due to charges being dropped, or the payment of a civil penalty without a violation established as a matter of record. In the latter case, the FAA may issue a compromise order. In some situations, multiple cases are resolved at one time, a situation when a consent order, signed by the FAA and the regulated entity, may be issued. Finally, sometimes cases initiated as certificate actions, i.e., suspensions or revocations, are resolved by payment of a civil penalty.