Far Eastern Air Transport could be fined NT$3 million

A Far Eastern Air Transport plane allegedly hit a parked aircraft as it was being towed out of an airport hangar at around 6 a.m. at Taipei Songshan Airport Tuesday. An incident that could cost the company up to NT$3 million in fines. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) – Taiwan’s Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT) could be fined up to NT$3 million (US$99,403) for a mishap on the ground that resulted in delayed flights at Taipei Songshan Airport Tuesday.

According to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), the incident was due to a FAT plane hitting a parked aircraft as it was being towed out of an airport hangar at around 6 a.m.

The two planes, both FAT MD-80s, then had to be towed away for safety inspections, said Clark Lin (林俊良), director of the CAA’s Flight Standards Division.

Lin said the parked aircraft was later cleared for service, while the other one sustained damage to its tail and was grounded for further repair and inspection.

The airline company later issued a press statement apologizing for the incident, which resulted in flight delays for more than 1,000 of its passengers.

The CAA said it will carry out an investigation to determine whether the cause of the incident was due to a lack of training of the airline’s ground crew, or other disciplinary issues.

If found negligent, FAT could be fined anywhere between NT$600,000 and NT$3 million, while individuals involved in the incident could each face fines of between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000.

FAT currently has eight MD-80s, six of which are 20 years old or older, with the other two approaching that age. 

By Chen Wei-ting and Ko Lin