The FAA has smacked Southwest Airlines with a $12 million fine, accusing the airline of improper repairs. And while the supposed faulty repairs didn't cause any injury, the FAA says they could have.
According to the FAA, Southwest Airlines conducted "extreme makeovers" to 44 jetliners to "eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin" starting in 2006. But the popular airline didn't meet federal standards for these repairs.
The FAA claims Southwest took shortcuts while replacing the fuselage skin of the planes. The fuselage skin is essentially the body of the plane, excluding the wings, tailplane and fin.
Southwest contracted the work on more than 40 Boeing 737 planes to Aviation Technical Services who are also under investigation.
The FAA said in a statement concerning the fine, "Safety is our top priority, and that means holding airlines responsible for the repairs their contractors undertake. ... Everyone has a role to play and a responsibility to ensure the safety of our transportation system."
Find out how many emergency landings were the result of holes in an airplane's fuselage skin in this Newsy video.