The Transport Ministry took the rare move of imposing administrative measures against All Nippon Airways Co. over the carrier’s violation of its own maintenance regulations, ministry officials announced Friday.
This is the first time the ministry has taken administrative action against a major airline for misconduct that did not result in an accident.
Based on the results of its Nov. 6-16 inspection, the ministry issued an order for Japan’s second-largest carrier to raise employee awareness of its maintenance rules and improve its aircraft maintenance system.
The ministry also plans to suspend two ANA pilots and four mechanics for 10 days for violating the Civil Aeronautics Law and maintenance rules. “The carrier did not operate in accordance with rules it had adopted. Despite the fact that the irregularity was reported internally, the carrier did not take proper action. I think that people in the firm had slacked off,” Transport Minister Jiro Kawasaki told a news conference.
Under the Civil Aeronautics Law, airlines are obligated to prepare their own maintenance rules and submit maintenance manuals for ministry approval.
According to the ministry, ANA violated its maintenance regulations by flying a Boeing 747 SR-100 from Honolulu to Nagoya Aug. 11 even though one of two vertical speed indicators on the captain’s side did not work.
The problem had been detected by a maintenance crew and the captain had been notified, but ANA workers in Honolulu let the plane take off as scheduled.
The carrier also violated its rules by flying a Boeing 747-200 between Singapore and Osaka Oct. 15 and 16 even though two tail navigation lights were not working. The problem was noticed by mechanics who alerted the captain, but the captain flew the plane without reporting it to the company.
The Aug. 11 case came to light only after a reporter asked the Transport Ministry about the case. ANA learned about the latter case through an internal probe and later reported it to the ministry.
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