FAA Corrects United: Restrictions Still In Place


The FAA says it has not lifted any operational restrictions on United Airlines, contradicting a memo from senior officials at the airline that the regulator is allowing it to “begin the process of restarting our certification activities.” The FAA froze airline operations in March, keeping it from adding any aircraft or routes until a safety review was completed. The review followed a spate of maintenance and operational incidents involving United flights, including an aircraft going off the side of a taxiway into mud, a wheel falling off an aircraft and a piece of wing box fairing ripping off in flight.

“The FAA has not approved any expansion of United Airlines‘ routes or fleet,” the agency said in a statement. “The Certificate Holder Evaluation Program that the FAA is conducting for United is ongoing and safety will determine the timeline for completing it.” The airline did not offer an explanation for jumping the gun.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. I’d like to look at the data for these restrictions. It appears from this article that the issues occur in different categories, suggesting either a wide spread underlying corporate belief system that manifests itself in differing situations, or on the other extreme, merely a succession of anomalies that appear to be significant.

  2. Slightly off topic, when did airlines stop accepting checked bags 45 minutes before a flight? Is it only United doing this? There’s virtually no one in the airport in the middle of the night, but if you need to check a bag, you still have to be there an hour early?

    Somehow, decades ago, this was not an issue. Progress?