FAA proposes $1m fine against ST Aero's San Antonio subsidiary

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The US FAA has proposed a fine of $1.03 million against Singapore-based ST Aerospace's subsidiary in San Antonio for allegedly failing to carry out pre-employment drug tests.

The maintenance, repair and overhaul services provider allegedly hired 90 people to carry out safety-sensitive work before conducting the required tests and receiving the results, says the FAA.

Of the 90 workers, 62 did not go through the tests but 23 of them performed safety-sensitive work, it alleges.

Another 22 workers went through the pre-employment drug test but were hired before the MRO firm received verified negative results, says the FAA. Two of these 22 workers carried out safety-sensitive work before the results were released.

The remaining six workers took the tests on the day they were hired, adds the FAA.

"Safety is compromised when our regulations are skirted or ignored," says FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "The travelling public has to be confident that the people who perform work on their planes are complying with those regulations."

In response to the FAA's announcement, ST Aero says it is "disappointed" and adds that it has "addressed the issues raised by the FAA way back in 2008".

"Although we are concerned about the FAA's notice, we are also comfortable with the fact that we cooperated with the FAA years ago to resolve their concerns and to implement quality controls to ensure that we continue to comply with the FAA's drug-testing standards," it adds.

ST Aero says all 90 employees had passed the drug tests, and adds that it has controls in place to comply with the FAA's drug testing regulations.

"We intend to communicate with the FAA to explain why their informal allegations are incorrect," it says.

It has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the allegations, says the FAA.