FAA Proposes $735,000 Civil Penalty Against Mexico-Based Volaris
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $735,000 civil penalty against Volaris of Mexico City, Mexico, for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
The FAA alleges that on March 12, 2013, Volaris returned a U.S.-registered Airbus A319 to service after performing a heavy maintenance inspection. During that inspection, mechanics allegedly failed to ensure that certain safety tasks related to the heavy maintenance underwent required inspections according to Volaris’ maintenance manual. These included removing and replacing an emergency slide, verifying that ailerons were properly rigged, and verifying the aircraft’s weight and balance calculations.
On March 19, FAA inspectors reviewed the carrier’s maintenance records and told the company that the required inspections had not been done. On March 27, Volaris allegedly performed the required inspections on the slide and aileron tasks, but not the weight and balance calculation. On April 4, a subsequent FAA inspection found that Volaris allegedly still had failed to complete the inspection of the weight and balance calculations. Additionally, the inspection found the company had allegedly failed to perform the required inspections for two additional tasks related to the heavy maintenance: a right wing slat seal edge replacement and a nose landing gear spring nut replacement.
The FAA alleges that Volaris flew the aircraft on a total of 121 passenger flights before bringing the aircraft into compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations.
“Safety must be the top priority of everybody in the aviation industry,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “The traveling public relies on airlines to ensure that airplanes are properly maintained, which includes paying close attention to all maintenance requirements.”
Volaris has 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.