The US Federal Aviation Administration has proposed fining Boeing US$13.5 million over its failure to implement regulations designed to prevent a fuel tank explosion like the one that destroyed a TWA 747 off the coast of New York in 1996, killing all 230 people on board.
The fine — the second largest ever put forward by the FAA — comes four years after the agency announced new regulations requiring aircraft manufacturers to develop design changes and service instructions to reduce the risk of a fuel tank explosion. Other manufacturers complied, but Boeing was 301 days late providing instructions for its 747 and 406 days late on its 757, the FAA said last week.
“We take this matter very seriously,” acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.
The FAA is also having difficulty forcing airlines to retrofit the fuel tanks of older aircraft, with carriers preferring to wait until older aircraft are phased out of service.