TAG Pays $10 Million To FAA

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Swiss-based TAG Aviation Holding Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary TAG Aviation USA will pay the FAA $10 million as part of a final resolution of the FAA’s “concerns” over TAG’s involvement with FAA-regulated aircraft operators, the company said in a news release. In October, the FAA’s concerns led to the revocation of AMI Jet Charter’s operating certificate under rules that define the level of operational control that charter companies must maintain over the aircraft they use. TAG owned 49 percent of AMI and said it acted as a flight broker. The FAA alleged that TAG was secretly pulling the strings on the operation of aircraft being chartered through AMI. As part of the settlement, the FAA acknowledges that TAG admits no wrongdoing in the case, which involved a seven-month investigation by the FAA. The FAA has also agreed not to stand in the way of the transfer of aircraft to new owners that might take over the business. A deal with Sentient is in the works. TAG Aviation Holding CEO Robert Wells said that while the payout hurts, it’s in the long-term interests of all the parties to move on. “This settlement will allow TAG Aviation Holding to continue with the divestiture of TAG Aviation USA business interests,” he said. “We are disappointed in the unprecedented settlement amount demanded by the FAA, but felt it was in TAG USA’s and their clients’ best interests to put this matter to rest.” TAG has been involved with AMI since 1998 and the operation was considered to be one of the best by many in the industry. It had a spotless safety record.