The FAA proposes a $1.1 million fine for United over fire safety concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration has fined United Airlines more than $1.1 million for failing to perform certain mandatory safety inspections on its Boeing 777s for nearly three years.
In a notice published Monday, the FAA proposed a civil penalty of $1,149,306 lawsuits against the airline for allegedly avoiding required inspections of the fire detection system on its Boeing 777s between June 2018 and April 2021, rendering the planes “unflyable” and cancelling more than 100,000 flights.

The FAA announced that in 2018, United removed the fire suppression system warning check from the Boeing 777 pre-flight check, which is mandatory in the aircraft’s maintenance manual.
The removal of fire system checks from United’s pre-flight routine resulted in the airline failing to perform mandatory safety checks, a safety official said. 

A United spokesperson told source and said in a statement that safety is the airline’s top priority.

United admitted it changed its pre-flight check in 2018, saying it did so because of “additional built-in checks” that the plane performs automatically.
“The safety of our flights has never been questioned,” the spokesman said.
A United representative said the FAA had reviewed and approved its updated checklist at the time of the change.

FAA flight safety inspectors discovered on April 19, 2021, that a review of United’s fire warning system had not been completed, the regulator said Monday in a letter to the airline’s CEO that was obtained by the media.

United said it “immediately updated its procedures” after the problem was reported. But the FAA claimed the airline knowingly operated six of its planes without performing mandatory inspections within three and a half hours of discovering the problem.

The large fine is a relatively rare move by the FAA, which has recently decided to approach potential safety problems with a joint response that often involves working with the airline, according to The Washington Post.
United has 30 days to respond to the FAA’s notice, and the airline said Monday it plans to review the proposed penalty and respond accordingly.

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