FAA proposes $4m civil penalty against UPS

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $4 million civil penalty against United Parcel Service (UPS) for the alleged improper maintenance of four cargo aircraft, and operating those aircraft while they did not comply with aviation regulations.

UPS allegedly failed to follow its approved procedures for completing structural repairs on two McDonnell Douglas DC-8 and Boeing MD-11 freighter aircraft, the FAA says.

"These violations stem from UPS's failure to fully comply with the terms of a consent agreement in which the carrier agreed to inspect all aircraft in its fleet and compare actual repairs with maintenance records," said the agency in a release. "This would have ensured the four aircraft were in compliance with the regulations."

UPS flew the aircraft on more than 400 flights between October 2008 and June 2009, the FAA says.

"The aviation industry knows that we take safety very seriously," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a release. "Air carriers must comply with federal regulations to ensure aircraft are maintained to the highest level of safety."

UPS says there was no issue with safety in a response to Flightglobal about the proposed penalty.

"UPS has a long history of operating a safe, compliant airline," says the operator. "The proposed FAA penalty related to the documentation of nine repairs on four aircraft is unwarranted and unreasonable. There was never a safety issue. We believe we were compliant with FAA rules and will vigorously defend our position."

UPS has 30 days to respond to the FAA after receiving its civil penalty letter.