Southwest agrees to $7.5M fine

Southwest Airlines will pay a $7.5 million civil penalty to settle FAA charges that it failed to properly inspect its aircraft for fatigue cracking. In addition to paying its fine in three installments of $2.5 million through 2011, Southwest will implement 13 specific safety improvements. The FAA had sought a $10.2 million penalty in the case, which sparked congressional hearings into the agency's oversight procedures.

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