News and Press Releases

United States Files Civil Action Against Air Jamaica Limited for Violations of Federal Aviation Safety Regulations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2008

Complaint Seeks in Excess of $600,000 in Civil Penalties and Injunctive Relief

Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Manny Weiss, Regional Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), Eastern Region, today announced the filing of a federal civil action against AIR JAMAICA LIMITED for multiple violations of aviation safety regulations promulgated by the FAA.1 AIR JAMAICA, a foreign commercial air carrier, operates commercial passenger airline services within the United States pursuant to FAA authorization.

According to the complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, on December 17, 2001, Air Jamaica incorrectly installed air conditioning bay panels on an Airbus A-310 that it operated out of John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”). The faulty installation caused the separation of the panels from the aircraft and the loss of hydraulic power to the landing gear doors shortly after the take-off of a flight out of JFK the following day. The damage was significant enough to force the flight crew to make an immediate emergency landing. Upon returning to JFK, the keel beam panel and landing gear doors exhibited cracks which, unless repaired, could have worsened over time and led to the need for further emergency action to be taken.

The complaint alleges that despite the obvious damage, AIR JAMAICA took no immediate action to adequately repair or maintain the aircraft and continued to operate the aircraft in an unairworthy condition on 58 commercial flights until taking necessary corrective action on January 17, 2002. As a result, the complaint charges that on each of the 58 commercial flights AIR JAMAICA failed to comply with FAA safety regulations, and the United States seeks more than $600,000 in civil penalties and injunctive relief sufficient to insure that AIR JAMAICA complies with the applicable standards of safety and maintenance.

The government’s case is being litigated by Assistant United States Attorney Laura D. Mantell and Stephen W. Brice of the FAA.


 

 

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1Congress directed the FAA to promote the safe flight of civil aircraft by prescribing regulations and minimum standards in the interest of safety. Title 49, United States Code, Section 44701. In accordance with its statutory mandate, the FAA has promulgated a comprehensive code of regulations governing aviation safety, operation, and maintenance.


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