Published on : Thursday, March 12, 2020
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an emergency order revoking the operating certificate of Paradigm Air Operators, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, for allegedly conducting dozens of unauthorized charter flights using unqualified pilots and when it lacked required air carrier management and safety personnel.
Under its FAA issued operating certificate, Paradigm is allowed to conduct non-common carriage and private carriage operations, which the FAA considers providing air transportation services for one or several selected customers, generally on a long-term basis. However, Paradigm does not have a certificate allowing it to advertise for-hire charter flights to the public, or to solicit or conduct such “common carriage” flights.
Nevertheless, the FAA alleges Paradigm between June 2013 and March 2018 conducted at least 34 unauthorized, common carriage charter flights using its two Boeing 757 and one Boeing 737 aircraft. Customers on these flights included the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers baseball teams, and the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs National hockey teams.
For 28 of these flights, Paradigm paid commissions totaling $101,320 to a consultant. For the other six flights, Paradigm received payments totaling $652,500 from an air charter broker.
On at least 11 of these occasions, Paradigm claimed the operations were demonstration flights to prospective aircraft buyers when the actual purpose of the flights was paid air transportation, the FAA alleges.
Paradigm conducted the 34 flights using pilots who had not completed training and flight proficiency checks that are required for crews engaged in common-carriage operations. Additionally, Paradigm conducted these flights when it lacked required common-carriage-operations personnel including directors of safety, maintenance and operations, and a chief pilot and chief inspector.
Additionally, the FAA alleges Paradigm, through a consultant, solicited and obtained long-term contracts with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners baseball teams. Paradigm paid a consultant a total of $272,646 for its role in getting these contracts, the FAA alleges.
The FAA further alleges Paradigm, on at least 17 other occasions, advertised, or otherwise offered, charter flights that ended up not taking place.
Furthermore, Paradigm conducted the unauthorized flights when it lacked economic authority from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the FAA alleges.
Under the FAA’s emergency revocation order, Paradigm must immediately surrender its operating certificate. The company faces a civil penalty of $13,669 for each day it fails to surrender the certificate.