Boeing has missed an important deadline set by the Federal Aviation Administration. The deadline was regarding the submission of service instructions allowing airlines to reduce the risk of fuel tank explosions on hundreds of planes built by the company. For failing to meet the deadline to submit the service instructions, Boeing has agreed to pay a $12 million fine to the FAA.
The company was required to submit the service instructions as part of an effort to address problems with the fuel tanks used by the company. These issues were most notably put on display with the TWA Flight 800 crash off the Long Island borough of New York in 1996. The Boeing 747’s fuel tank exploded over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 people aboard. The recovered wreckage of TWA Flight 800 has been reassembled at the National Transportation Safety Board Training Academy for use in training new investigators.
In 2008, the FAA published regulations that gave manufacturers until Dec. 27, 2010, to submit design changes and service instructions to reduce fuel tank flammability to the FAA for approval. Boeing delivered its service instructions to the FAA on Oct. 24, 2011, missing the deadline by 301 days.
The fine also covers other violations by the company, including Boeing’s delay in addressing incorrectly shaped fasteners used on 777 airliners. Boeing discovered the issue in September 2008, but didn’t implement a plan to address it until November 2010, more than two years later. The settlement also includes 11 matters involving “allegations of delays in submitting required safety information, production quality control problems, and failures to implement corrective actions for those production problems,” according to a statement from the agency.
The settlement is the second largest for regulatory violations in the history of the FAA. The FAA first proposed fining Boeing $13.6 million for the fuel tank violations in 2012, and $2.7 million for the fastener problem in 2013. Boeing is required to immediately pay the $12 million, and could be fined an additional $24 million if it fails to take the actions outlined in the agreement.