The FAA has proposed a $3.92 million fine against Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating aircraft with incorrect calculations of weight and balance data between May and August of 2018.

The carrier operated 44 aircraft on a total of 21,505 flights with incorrect operational empty weights and center of gravity data, the FAA said. Such information is used in determining how many passengers and much fuel can be carried aboard aircraft, as well as where cargo must be located. 

In a statement, Southwest said the proposed penalty pertains to data-processing issues that occurred while it was transferring its aircraft weight information between computer systems in spring 2018. 

“Since discovering the data discrepancy in 2018, in coordination with the FAA, Southwest has enhanced its weight and balance program by implementing additional controls to strengthen the process of managing aircraft weight data in our systems,” the carrier said.

Southwest had 30 days from receipt of the enforcement letter on Jan. 10 to respond to the FAA.

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