Southwest Fined for Flying Without Inspections

Dallas airline to pay $7.5 million.

Southwest airlines will pay a $7.5 million penalty for operating 46 airplanes on flights without performing mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking.

The Federal Aviation Administration reports Southwest flew 59,791 flights relating to the case.

The $7.5 million civil penalty will be paid in three installments of $2.5 million. The first payment is due within 10 business days of signing the agreement. Two additional payments will be made no later than Jan. 15, 2010, and Jan. 15, 2011.

Southwest Airlines will pay an additional $7.5 million if it does not accomplish 13 additional safety-related requirements related to personnel; manuals and procedures; company organization; and training.

FAA inspectors will monitor Southwest Airlines' progress on a variety of improvements for which the longest compliance time is one year.

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