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Durbin, Duckworth ask Allegiant for report on mechanical problems at Illinois airports

MidAmerica Airport by the numbers

Running an airport takes a lot of money. Here are some of the costs and stats associated with MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.
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Running an airport takes a lot of money. Here are some of the costs and stats associated with MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.

The two U.S. senators from Illinois have asked Allegiant Air for an account of recent mechanical problems following a CBS "60 Minutes" report about in-flight safety issues.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth asked the airline to provide "a full accounting of any and all serious mechanical incidents since 2015 involving the six Illinois locations in which Allegiant operates."

Those locations are: Belleville, Bloomington, Moline, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield.

In their letter to Allegiant CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr., the senators, both Democrats, said the CBS report "shed disturbing light on the airline’s continued mechanical problems since the summer of 2015, involving aborted takeoffs, emergency landings, smoke-filled cabins, a lack of capable engineers, and — most disturbing — roughly 25 engine failures within two years."

Tim Cantwell, director of MidAmerica Airport near Belleville, said earlier this week he has "absolutely no concerns" about Allegiant's safety record.

Allegiant reported more than 100 "serious mechanical incidents" between January 2016 and October last year, according to the CBS report, which was based on "service difficulty reports" filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant issued a statement calling the report a "false narrative."

Travelers deserve transparency, Durbin and Duckworth wrote in their letter.

“The allegations presented in the report raise serious questions about Allegiant’s commitment to the safety of the traveling public in Illinois and around the country. Our constituents in Illinois deserve transparency and accountability when it comes to Allegiant’s safety record,” the senators wrote.

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