Watch CBSN Live

Report: Airline Safety Fines Up 80 Percent

Fines on U.S. airlines for safety violations totaled more than $9.4 million last year, an increase of at least 80 percent from the year before, according to a published report.

Security violations account for about half the amount fined last year, and maintenance violations account for 38 percent, USA Today reported Monday. The total amount of fines from last year could grow because the Federal Aviation Administration withholds information about security cases that were opened within the past year.

Studying FAA records of enforcement cases for 23 jet airlines since 1985, the newspaper found that maintenance and security violations accounted for almost three-quarters of the dollar amount of all fines against the airlines from 1985 to 1998.

The FAA fined or took administrative action against airlines an average eight times each work day in 1998 for safety violations, the newspaper said.

America West was fined the highest amount last year, nearly $2.8 million, most of it for operating flights without performing required inspections, the report said. "Those matters are well behind us," said Stephen Johnson, a senior vice president at America West.

Delta Air Lines was fined the most times last year, 177 in all, and the second-highest amount, almost $2 million, the newspaper said. Delta spokesman John Kennedy said the airline flies more people than any other in the world, "so you'd expect that the number of fines would reflect that we're the busiest airline."

Continental was fined the least amount in 1999, $111,250, the newspaper said.

©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

View CBS News In