For Immediate Release

May 4, 2001
Contact: Allen Kenitzer
Phone: (425) 227-2015

RENTON, Wa. — The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed to assess a $235,000 civil penalty against TransBrasil Airlines Inc. of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for allegedly violating U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.

The FAA alleges that on August 3, 1999, TransBrasil Airlines, Inc. employees in Brazil offered a shipment containing a passenger service unit with an attached oxygen generator to TransBrasil for transportation by air on a passenger-carrying flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Miami. The hazardous materials were not declared, the crew was not notified the flight was carrying such materials and the shipment was in packages that did not meet specifications for its transport. Oxygen generators are forbidden from transportation on passenger aircraft.

Further, the FAA alleges that on August 12, 1999, TransBrasil Airlines offered the generator to Federal Express for transportation by air from Miami to Seattle via one or more Federal Express flights and delivered it to the Boeing Commercial Repair Facility where it was opened. Boeing informed the FAA of the presence of the hazardous materials on August 19, 1999.

The FAA alleges that TransBrasil Airlines offered, accepted, and transported as cargo hazardous materials that were not properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled, or in a condition for shipment required by the hazardous materials regulations. The FAA also alleges that TransBrasil Airlines failed to notify the pilots that hazardous materials were onboard and that shipment was not accompanied by required emergency response information.

TransBrasil Airlines will have 30 days from its receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency. This announcement of the proposed civil penalty is made in accordance with the FAA's policy of releasing information to the public on newly issued enforcement actions in cases involving penalties of $50,000 or more.