FAA claims Allegiant failed to comply with drug-testing rules

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $266,375 fine against Allegiant Air because the regulator alleges the airline violated federal drug and alcohol testing mandates.

The FAA alleges that Allegiant Air, which provides service to Wichita, failed to include 25 people who were hired or transferred to work in “safety sensitive” positions in random drug and alcohol testing pools, the FAA said in a news release Friday.

It said 11 of the employees performed safety-sensitive duties on numerous occasions while not in the testing pools. The FAA also said one employee’s follow-up test was not directly observed after the employee had previously tested positive for drugs. The worker performed numerous safety-sensitive duties after the improperly observed test, the FAA alleges.

In an e-mailed statement to The Eagle, an Allegiant official said that after an initial assessment of the allegations, the airline concluded that the safety of its operations was not compromised.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is always our number one priority at Allegiant,” Eric Gust, Allegiant vice president of safety and security, said in the statement. “We are currently reviewing all of the records and events associated with the FAA allegation. We are confident that after further investigation and conference with the FAA we will be able to resolve all of the allegations to the satisfaction of the FAA.”

Allegiant and the FAA are expected to meet on the matter in mid-June.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant operates non-stop flights from Wichita Eisenhower National Airport to Las Vegas and Phoenix. It will resume seasonal flights to Los Angeles on Wednesday.