Boeing faces ‘long road’ on safety issues, says top US air transport regulator

3 weeks ago 54

Updated

May 23, 2024, 09:08 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 09:07 PM

WASHINGTON – American planemaker Boeing faces a “long road” to address safety issues, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on May 23, as it prepares to receive the company’s plan to address concerns.

In late February, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker gave Boeing 90 days to develop a comprehensive plan to address “systemic quality-control issues” and barred it from expanding 737 MAX production.

Boeing has faced mounting questions after a door panel detached during a Jan 5 flight on a new Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9, forcing pilots to make an emergency landing while passengers were exposed to a gaping hole 4,900m above the ground.

An FAA audit also found serious issues.

Mr Whitaker told ABC News the 90-day plan, due next week, “is not the end of the process”.

“It’s the beginning, and it’s going to be a long road to get Boeing back to where they need to be making safe aeroplanes,” he said.

He said the FAA has been working closely with Boeing over the last 90 days on “what that plan is going to look like if it’s to bring the quality back where it needs to be at their factories”.

“It’s to bring the safety system where it needs to be and bring the culture where it needs to be so that employees can speak up when they see something that is concerning.”

The National Transportation Safety Board has said the Alaska Airlines plane was missing four key bolts, and Boeing has said it believes required documents detailing the doors during production were never created.

Mr Whitaker held an all-day meeting wit...

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