Thu, Nov 15, 2007
Handles Google Founders' B767
A company that manages aircraft for
two major-league sports teams, and the founders of internet search
company Google Inc., is under investigation by the FAA over some
functions that were outsourced to other vendors.
The Wall Street Journal reports Elan Express Inc. is reportedly
under investigation for allegations it contracted work out to US
affiliates of TAG Aviation Holding SA. Last week, the Swiss company
paid a $10 million fine to settle allegations it secretly
controlled flights as they were flown by affiliate AMI Jet Charter
Inc. TAG did not admit to wrongdoing in the settlement.
Federal regulations state charter operators must have direct
control over matters involving the aircraft they fly, including
maintenance, crew scheduling, and dispatching duties.
Elan Express is also affiliated with TAG, and the settlement
mentions the company's "relationship with, or alleged control over"
Elan Express. The settlement "does not extend to Elan Express
Inc.," however, according to the wording of the agreement.
Nevertheless, sources familiar with the matter tells the WSJ the
FAA has collected documents from Elan Express, and is looking into
the possibility TAG's US-based unit may have provided similar
services to Elan as were alleged in the earlier investigation
against TAG and AMI -- which once had a minority stake in the
Those sources also say TAG handled several duties for Elan,
including dispatching duties and maintaining training records. It
also allegedly provided accounting support to Elan.
Elan Express also manages the Boeing 767 owned by Google
founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as a Boeing 727 used
by the Chicago Bulls basketball team, and baseball's Colorado
Rockies. The Rockies are "monitoring the situation," according to a
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