FAA, Southwest still negotiating on safety penalty

DALLAS (AP) _ Southwest Airlines is still negotiating with the Federal Aviation Administration over alleged safety violations four months after regulators gave the airline a deadline to pay a $10.2 million penalty.

Dallas-based Southwest hopes to reduce the penalty that the FAA proposed for operating thousands of flights with planes that had missed inspections for cracked fuselages.

The airline says it doesn't deserve such a large penalty, partly because it reported the missed inspections to regulators and has improved safety procedures.

A Southwest spokeswoman said today that the company has set up an independent division to oversee compliance with safety rules and hired an outside company to audit maintenance procedures.