US accuses British Airways of hazardous Dallas shipment

DALLAS (AP) — Regulators say that British Airways violated safety rules by shipping an oxygen generator on an American Airlines flight from London to Dallas, and they are seeking to fine BA $195,000.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that the chemical oxygen generator was in a cardboard box without any markings to describe its contents. The device was shipped to a Boeing repair shop in Texas in 2012.

Oxygen generators produce oxygen for emergency masks in case of a loss of cabin pressure. They have been banned as cargo on passenger flights since the 1996 fire and crash of a ValuJet plane in the Florida Everglades that killed 110 people.

The FAA charged that British Airways failed to declare and label the generator as hazardous and suitable for shipment only on a cargo plane. It also said that BAA employees who handled it lacked required training for shipping hazardous materials.

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The FAA did not announce any action against American over the undeclared shipment, nor did it disclose how it learned of the shipment.

A spokeswoman for British Airways said the airline was cooperating with the FAA and requested a meeting with regulators.

Separately, the FAA proposed to fine American Eagle $60,000 for a contractor’s use of improperly trained or unqualified workers to de-ice planes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in late 2013. The airline, now called Envoy Air, is scheduled to meet with the FAA next month.


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