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Asia Pacific Airlines on notice for $2.9 million FAA fine

Pacific island cargo carrier cited for numerous safety violations

Asia Pacific Airlines operates a small fleet of Boeing 757-300 converted freighters. (Photo: Asia Pacific Airlines)

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a preliminary fine of $2.9 million against Aeromicronesia Inc., a cargo airline based in Guam that does business as Asia Pacific Airlines, for safety violations related to pilot training and equipment.

Asia Pacific Airlines provides scheduled and ad hoc charter service between Guam, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Palau and Honolulu. It has five Boeing 757-200 converted freighters on its registry, but two of them have been parked for more than three months, according to aircraft tracking sites.

The FAA last week alleged the airline used unqualified pilots on 163 flights between late December 2022 and Feb. 1, 2023, and operated 121 flights without oversight by an authorized person. The airline also operated 30 flights that didn’t comply with conditions and limitations when certain equipment was out of order. The agency also faulted Asia Pacific Airlines for failing to document engine monitoring and continually assess engine reliability used in extended-range operations over water.

Asia Pacific Airlines was grounded for three months early last year after the FAA revoked its operating authority. The company disputed allegations its pilots were not properly trained.

Asia Pacific Airlines has 30 days to respond to the proposed fine. The company could not be reached for comment by time of publication. President Adam Ferguson told trade journal ch-aviation that the airline complies with all safety requirements and that the fine was a surprise after the company thought it had resolved all concerns.  

The airline is a subsidiary of Tan Holdings Corp.

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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals and a Silver Medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government and trade coverage, and news analysis. He was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He won Environmental Journalist of the Year from the Seahorse Freight Association in 2014 and was the group's 2013 Supply Chain Journalist of the Year. In December 2022, Eric was voted runner up for Air Cargo Journalist by the Seahorse Freight Association. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. He has appeared on Marketplace, ABC News and National Public Radio to talk about logistics issues in the news. Eric is based in Vancouver, Washington. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]