From: Reuters
Published May 20, 2008 10:39 AM

U.S. warns SkyWest unit over dirty water facility

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators have warned SkyWest Inc's Atlantic Southeast Airlines unit after inspectors found paint chips and other debris in drinking water equipment, according to a letter from the regulators released on Tuesday.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigators inspected the airline's Wichita, Kansas, water facility in March and found contaminated carts used to deliver water for cooking and drinking, the letter said.

"This presence of sediment indicates that the water cart is not adequately maintained, flushed and sanitized with sufficient frequency to ensure potable water is delivered to the aircraft," the FDA wrote in a May 2 letter to the company. The agency posted the letter to its website on Tuesday at http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/s6772c.htm.

Aircraft that travel between states are required to carry clean drinking water.

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The FDA said it would allow the company to continue using the Wichita water facility on a provisional basis, but called for major changes to correct the problem and another inspection.

Representatives for Atlantic Southeast Airlines could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Atlanta-based carrier operates connecting flights for Delta Air Lines Inc and offers service to more than 135 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by John Wallace)

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