UNITED STATES ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH AIR JAMAICA

Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Carmine Gallo, Regional Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), Eastern Region, today announced the resolution of a federal civil action filed against Air Jamaica Limited, a foreign commercial air carrier that operates commercial passenger airline services within the United States pursuant to FAA authorization. The action arose out of Air Jamaica’s negligent maintenance of one of its aircraft, which resulted in an emergency landing of a commercial flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in December 2001. As alleged by the United States in its complaint, following the emergency landing, Air Jamaica operated the aircraft with damaged parts, and in an unairworthy condition, on 58 commercial flights before it made the necessary repairs.

Under the terms of the resolution, Air Jamaica must undertake various measures to ensure improvement in its safety program. These measures include the continued implementation of a more rigorous method of tracking maintenance discrepancies, regular meetings with FAA officials, and improved internal auditing of maintenance matters. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York will retain jurisdiction to ensure Air Jamaica’s compliance with the enhanced safety program through injunctive relief and/or increased penalties. In addition, Air Jamaica is obligated to pay $180,000 in civil penalties.

“This settlement represents an innovative resolution that is designed to ensure compliance with the standards set by the FAA to protect the flying public,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “This Office is committed to airline safety and, to that end, will vigorously enforce the laws that safeguard our skies.” Mr. Campbell extended his grateful appreciation to the FAA for its assistance in investigating and resolving the case.

The government’s case was litigated by Assistant United States Attorney Laura D. Mantell.

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