Press Release – FAA Revokes Air Carrier Certificate of American Flight Group, Inc. and Fines Medway Air Ambulance $1 Million
For Immediate Release
Release No. AOC 18-06
July 21, 2006
Contact: Laura Brown
Phone: (202) 267-3883
WASHINGTON, DC — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revoked the air carrier certificate of American Flight Group, Inc. (AFG), based in Annapolis, Maryland. In a related case, the FAA and Medway Air Ambulance, Inc. of Lawrenceville, Georgia have reached a settlement agreement that calls for Medway to pay a civil penalty of $1,000,000, for operating as an air carrier without an air carrier certificate, in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
In an Emergency Order of Revocation issued to AFG on May 19, 2006, the FAA determined that AFG allowed other companies that did not hold air carrier certificates or did not have sufficient authority under their own certificates to operate flights for hire under the AFG certificate. The FAA found that AFG permitted these other companies to list their aircraft on AFG’s operations specifications for a fixed monthly fee. These other companies, not AFG, then exercised operational control over the flights and the flight crewmembers, in violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
Although AFG appealed the revocation order to the National Transportation Safety Board, AFG withdrew that appeal, which means that the order issued by the FAA is final.
The settlement with Medway was reached after the FAA issued an Emergency Cease and Desist Order requiring the company to cease its illegal operations. The FAA determined that Medway entered into agreements with AFG that allowed Medway's aircraft to operate under AFG's certificate for a monthly fee. However, Medway, not AFG, was exercising operational control over those flights.
“These cases send a strong message that the FAA strictly enforces its safety regulations and will take action in situations where an air carrier is engaged in the franchising or rental of its air carrier certificate,” said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey.
These FAA actions resulted from a continuing national review and investigation of air taxi operational control issues. Since last spring, the FAA has taken enforcement actions against two other air carriers — Darby Aviation and American Air Network — that permitted uncertificated companies to operate under their certificates when the certificate holder did not exercise operational control over the flights.