American Airlines faces FAA fines of more than $7 million for a series of safety and maintenance violations and for deficiencies in its drug and alcohol testing, the Wall Street Journal reports. In proposing one of its biggest fines ever, the FAA accuses American of knowingly flying planes that needed safety repairs, including one MD-80 that flew several times in 2007 with a faulty autopilot.
American claims the violations were largely technical and plans to contest the "excessive" penalty. "We do not agree with the FAA's findings and characterizations of American's action in these cases," said a spokesman. It's the latest of example of the FAA's growing aggressiveness on maintenance supervision, the Journal notes.