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Southwest Airlines safety violations: a Naughty Business update

Southwest Airlines was fined $10.2 million for safety violations by the Federal Aviation Administration last year, but that's not what the company will be ultimately paying for missing inspections.

Officials said last March that 46 planes had gone into the air for nearly 60,000 flights in 2006 and 2007 without safety inspections for potentially dangerous cracks in the fuselage.

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Southwest said that the lapse stemmed from overlapping maintenance schedules that overlooked some parts. The company stated then that it completed the inspections less than two weeks later.

The fines were the largest ever levied against an airline.

Now, about a year later ...

... it seems that Southwest successfully settled with the FAA, negotiating the fines down to $7.5 million to be paid in three $2.5 million installments over two years, according to the Associated Press.

According to the story,

Southwest must also complete 13 additional safety changes, according to the story, including adding eight onsite Southwest technical representatives at companies that perform major maintenance on its airplanes and allowing FAA inspectors better access to maintenance tracking and engineering activities.

Thanks to Michelle over at What's the Deal, The Sun's travel blog, for the heads up on this one.

(Photo: Chiaki Kawajiri/Baltimore Sun)

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