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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pemco Counters FAA Claims

Pemco World Air Services responded to FAA’s Jan. 24 claim that the MRO failed to properly follow drug and alcohol testing requirements in two categories.
On the first count, FAA says the MRO did not administer pre-employment drug tests to two people doing safety-sensitive jobs. Pemco says the two people had started company training a few days before the negative drug test results came back, but those people were not performing safety-sensitive work.
FAA’s second claim, based on a routine audit, states Pemco didn’t conduct follow-up drug or alcohol testing for eight people reinstated after finishing return-to-duty-training in 2008. The agency says Pemco missed 24 follow-up tests in total for these individuals. Pemco says it gave the tests per an external substance abuse vendor, which apparently provided faulty scheduling and test quantity requirements. “In the vast majority of instances cited, the required number of tests were administered, but in the wrong months,” says Pemco, which no longer uses that vendor.
FAA proposed a $170,000 civil penalty against Pemco, which has 30 days to respond. In its Jan. 25 statement, the company says it supports FAA’s efforts to monitor safety and takes the agency’s allegations seriously. “Pemco does not believe that any of these circumstances represented a material shortfall in our safety procedures, and we are working with the FAA to clarify whether they warrant the action the FAA has proposed,” says a company statement.
In related news, the FAA proposed a $1,025,000 penalty on Jan. 22 against ST Aerospace San Antonio for also not following drug and alcohol testing requirements. ST Aerospace says it addressed FAA’s allegations in 2008. “Although we are concerned about the FAA’s notice, we are also comfortable with the fact that we cooperated with the FAA years ago to resolve their concerns and to implement quality controls to ensure that we continue to comply with the FAA’s drug-testing program,” says the MRO in a press release.

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