From tampabay.com. By William R. Levesque.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Wednesday that it is conducting a detailed, 90-day inspection of Allegiant Air’s operations in response to “various internal issues” tied to maintenance and safety.
Such a comprehensive review is normally conducted at all airlines every five years. But the FAA said it moved up its review of Allegiant by nearly two years to ensure the airline has remedied problems in operations.
The FAA provided little detail about the reasons for the review, but said the issues were related to two flights last summer. One involved a near-crash of an aircraft in Las Vegas that suffered a jammed elevator on its tail during a takeoff that was aborted. The second involved an emergency landing in Fargo, N.D., due to low fuel at an airport that was partly closed.
The FAA’s review comes as Allegiant officials recently have confirmed problems with operations after a year of steadfastly insisting all was well with the airline. Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher Jr. last week conceded the airline had a “bad summer” in 2015, with several emergency landings at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.
The Allegiant pilots union, involved in bitter contract negotiations, said Allegiant’s recent comments on problems are overdue.
“It’s clear that Allegiant’s bare-minimum approach to its operation isn’t working,” said Dan Wells, president of Teamsters Local 1224. “The federal government is conducting a high-profile investigation, and with an emergency occurring virtually every week due to a preventable maintenance issue, passengers are increasingly saying it isn’t worth the risk to fly Allegiant.”
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