FAA proposes penalties for MRO firms

Washington DC
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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed more than $800,000 in combined civil penalties against three California-based aircraft repair stations for allegedly violating drug and alcohol testing procedures.

The FAA is proposing $205,250 in fines against Sylmar, California-based Circor Aerospace for allegedly failing to conduct pre-employment drug screenings and to verify negative test results before hiring 29 individuals to perform "safety-sensitive" maintenance functions.

The agency also says that Circor allegedly failed to include two employees in its random drug and alcohol testing pool. A December 2011 inspection prompted the proposed penalties for the violations, which allegedly took place between September 2010 and December 2011.

The FAA has also proposed a $359,350 civil penalty against GKN Aerospace Chem-Tronics for allegedly failing to conduct drug tests before hiring 17 people performing safety-sensitive tasks between May and December 2011. The alleged violations came to light during an inspection in January 2012.

The FAA also alleges that GKN Aerospace Chem-Tronics did not test four randomly-selected people for alcohol in January, April and July 2011. Additionally, the FAA says that the company allegedly did not perform the required drug and alcohol testing for two employees as part of the "return-to-duty" process and conducted "inappropriate" drug testing for two employees after accidents.

The FAA is seeking $246,450 in proposed civil penalties against Woodward and its HRT subsidiary based in Santa Clarita, California. The agency says that the repair station allegedly failed to conduct proper drug screening procedures before hiring 12 individuals for safety-sensitive maintenance work. In addition, the FAA alleges that Woodward did not drug test an employee after he went through a treatment programme for substance abuse. The agency also alleges that Woodward used expired equipment for calibration checks on a device used for breath testing.

The FAA says that these alleged violations took place between August 2010 and March 2012 and discovered them during an inspection in April 2012.

Each company has 30 days from receiving an FAA enforcement letter to respond to the alleged penalties.