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Southwest Settles FAA Safety Claims for $2.8M

(CN) - Southwest Airlines agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle claims that it violated Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations in maintaining its fleet of Boeing 737s, the Justice Department said Monday.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by the federal government in the Western District of Washington state.

In addition to $2.8 million in civil penalties, Southwest agreed to make operational changes to enhance its oversight and control of third-party maintenance of its aircraft. The Dallas-based low-cost carrier - the world's largest - did not admit fault in the settlement and no determination of liability has been made, the Justice Department said.

"Safety depends on compliance with our regulations," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. "This agreement provides strong incentives for Southwest to take specific steps to address the compliance problems that the FAA investigations uncovered."

The feds agreed to defer $5.5 million in civil penalties as long as the airline makes the operational changes.

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