TapJets, which describes itself as an “instant private jet booking platform,” said Tuesday it is “vigorously defending itself” against U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allegations that it used unqualified pilots on 10 flights in 2016 and 2017.
The FAA made the allegations last week, when it issued an emergency order of revocation against the firm and ordered a halt to its charter flights.
TapJets said the flights cited by the FAA were not charter operations but were conducted free for friends and relatives during the initial development of the company; the flights were in compliance with relevant U.S. Federal Aviation Regulations, TapJets said.
“Just like Uber, Airbnb and other successful companies that changed the status quo, TapJets Inc. is now facing pushback by government regulators,” Debra Fein, TapJets corporate counsel, said. “TapJets denies any wrongdoing, denies all allegations that FAA has made and is prepared to vigorously defend itself against allegations despite it no longer being the need for TapJets to be a certified airline.”
The FAA cited 10 flights between Sept. 28, 2016, and Jan. 22, 2017, in which TapJets — based in Spring, Texas, and Fargo, North Dakota — “knowingly used unqualified pilots, operated in a careless or reckless manner that endangered liver or property, and exhibited a cavalier attitude toward regulatory compliance.”
The FAA said that, “on one of those flights, the airman who served as second-in-command only had a student pilot certificate, when a commercial pilot certificate was required.” The FAA also said that, on 14 passenger-carrying flights, the company used aircraft that were not listed on its air carrier certificate and that it was not authorized to operate.