July 27, 2013
Boeing 777 Woes Continue, FAA Proposes $2.75 Million Fine

Boeing's 777 woes have yet to be over. The US Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $2.75 million fine to the airplane manufacturer on Friday for its delay in fixing fasteners on its 777 wide-body airplane.

The penalty is unusually high and comes three years after Boeing announced it had addressed the FAA's concerns, which date back to 2008.

The FAA is known for imposing fines for rule violations, reports Reuters. However, fines over a million dollars are more rare. The action against Boeing for the 777 issue comes as the company's newest commercial airliner, the 787 Dreamliner, suffered a recent mishap.

The 787 saw a spontaneous fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines jet parked in a remote area of Heathrow Airport earlier this month. In announcing the FAA's proposed fine for Boeing, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated:

"Safety is our top priority and a robust quality control system is a vital part of maintaining the world's safest air transportation system. Airplane manufacturers must take prompt and thorough steps to correct safety and compliance problems once they become aware of them."

The FAA alleges that Boeing took two years to fix the 777's fasteners issue. While the company discontinued using the problem fasteners, the FAA says the company didn't perform a comprehensive fix until 2010, notes ABC 15.

But Boeing stated that it takes "any concern about safety, compliance and conformity very seriously." The company added that it responded to the 777 fastener issue by creating a database to track potential issues, adding additional manager oversight, and has communicated better with the FAA to ensure all concerns are addressed.

Boeing added that it will give the government a formal response within the required 30-day window. The company explained, "We are working closely with the FAA to ensure we understand and address any remaining concerns with this proposed penalty."

While the Boeing 777 violation apparently carries a fine of $25,000 per day, the FAA announced it would be willing to settle for $2.75 million.

[Image by David Monniaux via Wikimedia Commons]