Horizon Air faces $1 million fine for FAA violations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) -- Regional airline Horizon Air is facing a hefty fine of more than $1 million for flying nearly two dozen passenger planes while they were not in compliance with federal regulations, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Wednesday.

The FAA said Horizon Air operated 22 Bombardier DHC-8-402 turboprop airliners on more than 186,000 revenue flights while security flight deck doors were installed with blind rivets which can damage other components such as wiring. Instead, federal regulations require these to be installed with solid rivets.

The FAA said it discovered the violations after a 23rd Horizon Air plane was modified with blind rivets, causing it to experience in-flight wiring damage during a non-revenue flight. But even after being told the aircraft were not in compliance with federal regulations, Horizon Air continued to operate one of the aircraft on another 22 passenger-carrying revenue flights before finally replacing the rivets.

As a result of the violations, which occurred between December 2007 and June 2011, the FAA has proposed a civil penalty of $1,005,000 against Horizon Air. The company, which is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group that also owns Alaska Airlines, has 30 days to respond to the agency.

The fine proposed on Wednesday comes just three months after the FAA fined the airline $445,125 for operating a Bombardier Dash-8-400 aircraft on 45 flights while it was not in compliance with federal regulations. The FAA said Horizon Air failed to inspect the aircraft for cracked or corroded engine nacelle fittings every 300 operating hours.

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