Paperwork "errors" land FedEx Express with $689,000 fine

FedEx Express is facing a fine of nearly $700,000 in the United States for getting its paperwork wrong regarding the shipment of hazardous materials.

Federal aviation regulators have cited the carrier for 89 instances of failing to provide its pilots with complete and accurate information on the nature and quantity of hazardous materials loaded on their aircraft.

The alleged problems occurred between June 13 and September 4, 2009.

The Federal Aviation Administration said failing to provide the required information was a breach of US hazardous materials regulations.

It has also accused FedEx of four further instances, between June and August 2009, of shipping hazardous materials by air when items were not “accurately described and certified” in accompanying documentation.

The paperwork problems were uncovered during an FAA inspection at FedEx’s cargo-handling facility at Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport in September 2009.

FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said: “Pilots must know they are carrying dangerous goods so they can take all necessary safety precautions. Shippers and airlines must follow the rules so they are able to move these materials safely.”

FedEx, which has a month to respond to the FAA’s allegations, said the instances cited by the regulators involved “errors in documentation” that did not put FedEx aircraft in danger. It has provided additional training to employees to respond to the problems.

The Memphis-based firm is now asking to meet informally with the FAA, intending to ask the agency to reconsider its fine.

“All of these packages traveled through the FedEx system safely and never posed any danger to our aircraft or crew members,” said spokeswoman Sally Davenport.

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