The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is threatening to revoke Executive Air Express air carrier certificate, alleging the company was “careless or reckless and endangered lives and property” by operating unauthorized aircraft in 30 passenger flights.
The FAA has alleged that the U.S.-based operator conducted multiple flights carrying paying passengers on a Learjet 35A and Swearingen SA226T aircraft. The problem here lies with the fact that all carriers can only operate flights using FAA-approved aircraft listed in Operations Specifications (Ops Specs). Allegedly, the Learjet 35A and Swearingen SA226T were not on the Executive Air Express’ Ops Specs list, according to FAA’s statement issued on December 13, 2019.
On one instance, the company carried out a for-hire flight with the Learjet after the FAA denied the request to add the aircraft to Ops Specs, the authority further claims. The request was rejected after finding 49 “discrepancies” and refusing to resume aircraft inspection before the discrepancies were addressed.
On top of that, the agency claims that the company failed to conduct proving tests of Learjet aircraft. The 25 hours of proving tests are required before using an aircraft in for-hire operations. “Executive’s operation of the Learjet and Swearingen was careless or reckless and endangered lives and property, the FAA alleges,” the statement reads.
The company now has 15 days to respond to the FAA’s proposed revocation letter.
Executive Air Express is an on-demand aircraft charter services provider based in the United States. It operates a business aircraft fleet, promising the passengers “unmatched convenience, safety and professional service,” according to the company’s website.
Executive Air Express is not the only airline that has attracted FAA’s attention for (alleged) Operations Specifications breach. In late November 2019, the authority has proposed a $6.4 million fine against German airline Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) , claiming that the latter operated multiple flights in and out of two airports, San Diego and Philadelphia, despite the fact that they were not on the carrier’s Ops Specs list.