As we enter 2024, it’s important to note that the Department of Transportation (DOT), including the FAA, typically adjusts civil penalties annually. However, as of now, the 2024 adjustment has not been released. These adjustments are mandated to preserve the effectiveness of penalties as deterrents, following the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustments Act Improvements Act of 2015.
In 2023, fines imposed by the DOT, including the FAA, increased as part of the annual adjustment to its civil penalty amounts. These changes were mandated to ensure the continued effectiveness of penalty deterrence. The increases were calculated by multiplying the penalty amount by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers from October 2022 through October 2023, resulting in approximately a 3% increase for that period.
For reference, in 2023:
- FAA hazardous materials rules violations resulted in a penalty of $99,756 per violation, or as much as $232,762 for violations resulting in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property destruction.
- Civil penalties for aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft or its flight path were $31,819.
- The civil penalty for anyone knowingly or recklessly operating an unmanned aircraft that interferes with law enforcement, emergency response, or wildfire suppression was $25,455.
- Assaulting or threatening assault of a crewmember or another individual on an aircraft, or actions posing an imminent threat to the safety of the aircraft or individuals on board, incurred a $43,658 penalty.
Please note that this rule did not change previously assessed or enforced penalties. As we await the release of the 2024 adjustment, it remains essential for those in the aviation industry to stay aware of potential fines for violations. Barnett Law Offices is here to help you stay informed and provide legal assistance with any aviation-related matters. Stay updated with the latest aviation news and developments on our website. Your compliance and understanding are our top priorities.