FAA demands Boeing address quality-control issues, 90-day ultimatum issued


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Boeing a 90-day ultimatum to address ongoing quality-control problems with its 737 MAX production lines.

This follows a closed-door meeting between FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker and Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun.

The FAA is demanding a comprehensive action plan to rectify “systemic quality-control issues.”

Whitaker stated:

Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements… Making foundational change will require a sustained effort from Boeing’s leadership, and we are going to hold them accountable every step of the way, with mutually understood milestones and expectations.

Whitaker stressed that the safety plan must address the ongoing FAA production-line audit and the findings from a forthcoming expert review panel mandated by the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act of 2020.

Boeing must also elevate its Safety Management System (SMS) and thoroughly integrate it with a Quality Management System. This aims to improve oversight across the entire company, including its suppliers, and ensure consistent safety standards.

Whitaker added:

Boeing must take a fresh look at every aspect of their quality-control process and ensure that safety is the company’s guiding principle.

The FAA is actively investigating Boeing’s manufacturing practices.

Following the incident in January where a Boeing 737-9 MAX experienced a mid-flight door issue, the FAA has already halted the production expansion of the Boeing 737 MAX.

The agency is also considering a third-party overseer and plans to complete its enhanced oversight audit of Boeing’s production systems soon.

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