For Immediate Release

Release No. ASW 12-00
May 26, 2000
Contact: John Clabes, Roland Herwig
Phone: (405) 954-7500


FORT WORTH — The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed to assess a $70,000 civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for allegedly violating Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.

FAA alleged Southwest knowingly accepted a shipment containing hazardous materials as checked baggage aboard one of its aircraft. The shipment consisted of a box packed with 20 smaller boxes each containing 50 disposable lighters. Such devices are classed as hazardous materials under the regulations.

The shipment was clearly marked as "lighters" when Southwest accepted it, the FAA alleged. Southwest is a "will-not-carry" airline for hazardous materials. The airline transported the shipment from Houston to Dallas. A Southwest employee discovered the illegal shipment when it was unloaded at Love Field. Southwest then notified the FAA.

The FAA has also issued a notice of proposed civil penalty to the passengers who offered the shipment.

The company has 30 days from receipt of the enforcement letter to respond to the agency. Announcement of the proposed civil penalty is made in accordance with FAA's policy of releasing information to the public on newly issued enforcement actions in cases that involve penalties of $50,000 or more.

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