Fine proposed against Boeing
JOAN LOWY AND JOSHUA FREED
WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday proposed fining Boeing $13.5 million for failing to meet a deadline to provide airlines with instructions on how to prevent fuel tank explosions like the one that destroyed TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island, N.Y., 16 years ago, killing all 230 people on board.
The fine — the second-largest the FAA has ever proposed — underscores the difficulty the agency has had prodding industry to comply with important safety regulations that can be complex or expensive to implement.
The longer airlines can delay retrofitting the fuel tanks of older planes, the fewer repairs they’ll have to make because those planes are continually being replaced with newer aircraft with differently designed tanks, said John Goglia, a former NTSB member and expert on aircraft maintenance.
On Friday, the FAA said it would not issue a blanket extension but would consider extension requests by individual airlines for the 2014 deadline when they must retrofit half their fleets.