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April 4, 2000

Contact: John Clabes Phone: 405-954-7500

FAA Proposes $332,500 Civil Penalty Against Chilean Airlines for Illegal Shipment of Oxygen Generators on Passenger Plane

FORT WORTH--The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed to assess a $332,500 civil penalty against LanChile Airlines of Santiago, Chile, for violation of Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.

FAA alleges LanChile transported an undeclared shipment of oxygen generators as company material aboard a passenger flight from Santiago to Miami, Fla., on May 15, 1999. Upon arrival at Miami, LanChile then offered the shipment to Federal Express for transportation by air from Miami to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; the shipment was not properly described on shipping documents and the outer package was not marked not labeled to indicate the hazardous nature of its contents. Chemical oxygen generators require a "Cargo Aircraft Only" label and are forbidden on passenger-carrying aircraft.

The FAA alleges that LanChile transported as company materials an unmarked fiberboard box containing 15 unexpended chemical oxygen generators. The outer box did not have labels indicating that it contained the generators nor did the shipping label indicate the box contained the generators. The pilot in command of the LanChile flight was not notified of the contents of the shipment, the complaint alleges. When the unmarked box of oxygen generators reached Miami, it was shipped by LanChile to Dallas/Fort Worth aboard a Federal Express aircraft on May 17 and delivered to an aircraft parts warehouse where a clerk opened the package and notified authorities. In addition, LanChile did not make emergency response information immediately available for use. The company has 30 days from receipt of the enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

The announcement of the proposed civil penalty is in accordance with FAA's policy of releasing information to the public on newly issued enforcement actions in cases that involve penalties of $50,000 or more.



--This story is posted courtesy FAA

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