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‘There’s a lot of work to be done’: FAA Administrator testifies on Boeing oversight

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Whitaker testified on the agency’s oversight of Boeing during a Senate committee hearing on Thursday.

“This is about systemic change and there’s a lot of work to be done,” Whitaker said.

In February, Boeing was given 90 days to develop a plan to fix its quality control and production issues after the door plug of a Boeing 737 Max 9 blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight on January 5. Boeing submitted its plan to the FAA on May 30.

Senators grilled Whitaker about Boeing’s new plan and what the FAA is doing to ensure the aerospace company is following through on the plan.

“The FAA must guarantee, that not only are they certifying that an aircraft is safely designed, but that the manufacturer is building them to that safe design. Clearly, that was not always happening at Boeing,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.

Whitaker acknowledged the FAA could have been doing more before the January 5 incident.

“The FAA’s approach was too hands off, too focused on paperwork audits and not focused enough on inspections,” he said. “We have changed that approach over the last several months and those changes are permanent.”

Whitaker testified that the FAA has taken several steps to ensure quality production and safety, including adding more inspectors at Boeing facilities to closely monitor production, additional inspections throughout the production process and audits of the quality systems and build process.

“This increased visibility will play a vital role in identifying emerging safety trends before they become problems,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker also testified that the FAA has capped production of the Max, and that Boeing will not be allowed to increase production until the FAA believes it can be done safely.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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