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.