FAA Proposes $146,500 Fine Against Spirit Airlines for Alleged Hazardous Materials Violations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a civil penalty of $146,500 against Spirit Airlines for alleged violations of the Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations. The announcement was made on March 22, 2024. Spirit Airlines, based in Miramar, Florida, is accused of offering five separate shipments containing compressed oxygen cylinders to FedEx for air transportation from Detroit to New York in August and September 2022. One of these shipments was rejected by FedEx employees in Detroit because the box in which the compressed oxygen cylinder was packed was damaged. The packaging did not adhere to the Flame Penetration Resistance Test requirements and was not properly marked or labeled.


The FAA alleges that all five shipments were offered by Spirit employees who had not completed the required hazardous materials training in the use of the United States Department of Transportation Special Permit. This is a serious violation of the regulations, as it potentially puts the safety of the transportation process at risk.


Spirit Airlines has been given 30 days from receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency. The airline's response will be crucial in determining the next steps in this process. If the allegations are found to be true, the proposed fine could serve as a significant deterrent for other airlines to ensure strict adherence to hazardous materials regulations.

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This news comes just weeks after JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines announced they will no longer pursue a merger. On March 4, 2024, JetBlue and Spirit confirmed that the two airlines had agreed to terminate their July 2022 merger agreement due to current regulatory obstacles. The proposed fine against Spirit Airlines underscores the FAA's commitment to enforcing safety regulations and ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials. It serves as a reminder to all airlines of the importance of adhering to these regulations and the potential consequences of violations.

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