FORT WORTH (AP/CBSDFW.COM) – The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking up to $162.4 million in penalties from American Airlines parent company AMR for alleged safety violations. The FAA has filed claims with the court overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case, and it could take years before the issue is resolved.

The fines stem from several investigations into safety and maintenance infractions by American Airlines and American Eagle. The largest of the penalties dates back to 2010, and allegations that the company failed to properly inspect and fix electrical wiring around the landing gear on its MD-80 fleet.

The FAA said that it filed the claims in order to protect the interest of taxpayers and ensure that the government gets paid in the AMR restructuring process.

American says it never operated unsafe planes. The airline says it’s been working with federal officials for several years to improve training and oversight in its maintenance operations.

This latest blow to the company comes just as the pilots union is expected to vote on the airline’s last and best contract offer. The union is telling its members to vote in favor of the offer, which includes pay raises and an equity stake in the airline. Voting among pilots union members is set to end Wednesday at noon.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a
division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press
contributed to this report.)

Also Check Out: