Federal Regulators Find Numerous Issues With Boeing Safety Operations

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Will Kessler Contributor
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a new report on Monday outlining several potential points of concern for Boeing’s operations with regard to safety.

The report pointed to a number of issues in Boeing’s operation that could inhibit proper safety compliance, including a disconnect with the company’s senior management and lower members of the organization on safety culture. The FAA report was mandated by Congress following two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in the deaths of 346 people on board and is not related to recent issues that Boeing planes have experienced, according to The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Boeing Pauses Deliveries For Dozens Of Planes Due To Unveiled Issue)

“We will immediately begin a thorough review of the report and determine next steps regarding the recommendations as appropriate,” the FAA said in a press release. “We will continue to hold Boeing to the highest standard of safety and will work to ensure the company comprehensively addresses these recommendations.”

The investigating panel found that Boeing’s procedures followed regulatory frameworks but were not structured in a way that led employees to understand their role in safety management, according to the report. The procedures reportedly confused employees among different work sites and employee groups, with workers having difficulty distinguishing between various measuring methods, their purposes and outcomes.

“We transparently supported the panel’s review and appreciate their work,” Boeing told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’ve taken important steps to foster a safety culture that empowers and encourages all employees to share their voice. But there is more work to do. We will carefully review the panel’s assessment and learn from their findings, as we continue our comprehensive efforts to improve our safety and quality programs.”

The panel also recognized possible issues for retaliation to occur when employees are reporting safety issues, such as through affecting salaries and furlough rankings. It was also identified that human factors were not being adequately considered in aviation safety and that there was a lack of pilot input in aircraft design.

In early January, an Alaska Airlines flight involving a Boeing 737 Max 9 had an inflight incident where an emergency door plug was ripped off the aircraft, resulting in several injuries and an emergency landing. The incident led to another federal probe by the National Transportation Safety Board, which found that the Alaska Airlines jet had no bolts installed before the accident.

Following the report, Boeing ousted the head of its 737 Max passenger jet program, Ed Clark, after 18 years at the company. Boeing also created a new position for Elizabeth Lund to serve as senior vice president of quality.

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