Continental Airlines has agreed to pay $402,000 in civil penalties "in full settlement of enforcement actions associated with violations of the federal air regulations," the Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday.

"Most of the violations were identified in numerous inspections of Continental Airlines maintenance and operations procedures over the past two years," FAA spokesman Bob Buckhorn said.

Continental spokesman Mike Cinelli said the airline told the FAA in a letter that "safety was never compromised by any of the alleged violations, most of which involved record-keeping oversights and similar technical infringements."

More than half of the penalty was to settle violations resulting from a 1983-84 pilot-training procedure that Continental maintained the FAA had approved.

Continental is a subsidiary of Texas Air Corp., which also owns New York Air and is seeking to acquire Eastern Air Lines.

The settlement comes amid increasing concern that airline maintenance and training are receiving short shrift as carriers scramble to cut costs in the competitive airline business that has emerged since Congress deregulated the industry in 1968.

In the last year, American Airlines has paid a $1.5 million fine, Western $700,000 and Alaska Airlines $300,000. The FAA has proposed a record $9.5 million settlement at Eastern for alleged violations, but it remains under negotiation.