WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking to fine Southwest Airlines $3.9 million for failing to properly calculate the weight of planes and make sure that loads were balanced before more than 21,500 flights in 2018.
The FAA said Friday that the violations occurred on 44 Southwest’s planes over more than three months.
Weight is used to determine the maximum number of passengers on a plane and how much fuel it should carry, and cargo must be balanced to avoid have too much weight in the front or back, which can affect the way a plane flies.
Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish said the weight-calculation problems happened after a change in computer systems, and the airline reported the issue to the FAA. He said problems with the calculations were fixed in August 2018.
Southwest has 30 days to respond to the FAA’s proposed civil penalty. Airlines often try to negotiate down the size of FAA fines. Parrish said Southwest would seek an “appropriate resolution to this proposed penalty.”