OAN’s Abril Elfi
1:15 PM – Tuesday, February 6, 2024
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told lawmakers he will use any of his authority to hold Boeing accountable for any safety violations.
On Tuesday, FAA chief Mike Whitaker told lawmakers he will be doing everything in his power to hold Boeing accountable after last month’s 737 Max 9 accident during an Alaska Airlines flight.
“We will consider the full extent of our enforcement authority to ensure Boeing is held accountable for any non-compliance with regulations,” Whitaker wrote.
He also noted that the agency will increase personnel tasked with monitoring activities.
He was scheduled to testify on Tuesday morning before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation subcommittee.
This is the first hearing related to the incident that occurred last month on Alaska Airlines, when a door panel of a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet blew off in midair.
The planned questions, which covered subjects like whether the FAA has discovered “any evidence of persistent quality control lapses in any of Boeing’s production lines,” what additional action the agency is considering following the blowout, and whether there is enough staffing to conduct proper oversight, were made public by committee leaders on Friday.
The committee leaders will ask about communication between the administration, Boeing and the affected airlines which include Alaska and United Airlines.
They will also ask about the FAA’s oversight of the quality-assurance inspections conducted by the aircraft manufacturer.
“We support the decisions made thus far by the [FAA] regarding the MAX 9 aircraft, including the announced audit of Boeing’s quality control and safety practices and investigation into Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 manufacturing,” committee leaders wrote in the letter last week. “These actions, including those regarding the return to service, are designed to ensure that the highest manufacturing and quality control standards are maintained throughout our aviation ecosystem,” they added.
Since the incident in January, which left a huge hole in the side of the aircraft midair, Boeing has been the subject of increased scrutiny.
The National Transportation Safety Board is getting ready to release its preliminary report on the incident while an internal probe on Boeing is being conducted.
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