WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it had assessed a $1.1 million fine on a servicing company for failing to follow protocol on plane inspections.
The FAA said Aviation Technical Services did not follow the proper procedures when inspecting and repairing 44 Boeing 737-300 jets flown by Southwest Airlines, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.
The issue arose when a Southwest Airlines jet with 142 persons on board made an emergency landing in Yuma, Ariz., after a rupture in the fuselage left a 5-feet long, 9-inches wide hole in a 737.
The plane landed safety with no serious injuries involved. But the incident sparked an investigation that resulted in Monday's fine, even though ATS was not the company that worked on the jet that was forced to make an emergency landing.
In a statement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "improper work that compromises safety is not acceptable."
"Passengers have the right to expect the nation's airlines to operate properly maintained airplanes," LaHood said.