FAA Proposes $114,975 Civil Penalty Against Sun Country Airlines

Monday, September 28, 2015

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $114,975 civil penalty against MN Airlines, LLC, doing business as Sun Country Airlines, for allegedly violating federal drug and alcohol testing regulations.

The FAA alleges that Sun Country, of Mendota Heights, Minn., failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests and receive verified negative results before hiring or transferring one mechanic and three flight attendants into safety-sensitive positions. The FAA alleges one of the flight attendants performed in-flight duties before she was subjected to a pre-employment drug test.

Additionally, the FAA alleges the company transferred another employee from a non?safety?sensitive position into the safety?sensitive position of in?flight supervisor, a flight attendant position, more than 180 days after she had taken a pre-employment drug test. Employers must administer a new pre?employment drug test before transferring an employee into a safety-sensitive position if more than 180 days has elapsed since the previous test. The flight attendant performed in-flight duties on four occasions before being re-tested, the FAA alleges.

The FAA further alleges the airline failed to include one pilot and seven aviation screeners in its random drug and alcohol testing pool. The agency alleges the pilot flew for the carrier for seven months when he was not in the pool, and that the others performed aviation screening duties on one occasion when they were not in the pool.

The FAA discovered the alleged discrepancies during an inspection of the airline’s Antidrug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program.

Sun Country has 30 days from receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.