For Immediate Release

April 20, 2000
Contact: Kathleen Bergen
Phone: 404-305-5100 After Hours: 404-305-5180


The Federal Aviation Administration, Southern Region, has proposed to assess a $440,000 civil penalty against Viacao Aerea Sao Paulo (VASP) of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Miami, for allegedly violating Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations. VASP is a Brazilian air carrier.

FAA alleges that VASP improperly accepted for transportation by air, numerous packages containing hazardous materials including: two 22.7-kilogram fiber drums containing ammonium persulphate, an oxidizer; 33 19-liter plastic jerricans of chlorite solution, a corrosive; one 16.33-kilogram fiberboard box containing a toxic solid poison; and 10 19-liter plastic drums containing flavoring liquid extract, a flammable liquid.

VASP accepted the hazardous materials for transportation when they were not packaged, labeled, marked, classed, described, documented, or in condition for shipment as required by regulations. VASP also failed to ensure employees were trained to properly package and handle hazardous materials, did not make available at all times the required emergency response information, and did not provide proper signs regarding hazardous materials at its cargo acceptance area.

FAA discovered the hazardous materials during an inspection of VASP's Miami cargo facility. FAA informed VASP that the facility was in violation of the hazardous materials regulations, and the carrier agreed to cease all acceptance, storage and transportation of hazardous materials by improperly trained employees. FAA conducted two follow-up inspections, and continued to find violations of the hazardous materials regulations.

VASP has 30 days from receipt of the FAA notice to submit a reply to the agency. This announcement is made in accordance with the FAA's practice of releasing information to the public on newly issued enforcement actions involving penalties of $50,000 or more.

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