Boeing production facility in Renton, Washington: a warehouse with planes outside next to some trees and water with peopled hills in the background.

The touchdown zone.
Photograph: David Ryder/Getty Photographs (Getty Photographs)

Twenty security inspectors from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are heading to Renton, Washington, they usually’re not there to go to the Jimi Hendrix Memorial.

FAA head Michael Whitaker is heading to Capitol Hill as we speak (Feb. 6) to inform Congress that the company is committing extra assets to inspecting Boeing’s manufacturing amenities within the wake of repeated problems with its 737 Max planes. Reuters reports that along with the 20 inspectors in Renton, six extra are headed to fuselage contractor Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas.

“Going ahead, we could have extra boots on the bottom carefully scrutinizing and monitoring manufacturing and manufacturing actions,” Whitaker stated in a press release shared with Quartz by the FAA.

“Aggressive” oversight for Boeing

As soon as upon a time, the FAA’s relationship with Boeing was a lot cozier — so cozy that the corporate was allowed to “self-certify” its own aircraft as secure. However after a number of 737 Max 8 planes fell out of the sky in 2019, flyers — and regulators — referred to as for scrutiny.

In a Division of Transportation inspector common’s report launched in 2021, the federal government discovered that “weaknesses in FAA’s certification and delegation processes hindered its oversight of the 737 Max 8.” Although the federal government ramped up scrutiny of all planes within the wake of the crashes, in January a door blew off a 737 Max 9 mid-flight and unleashed a new wave of anxiety.

“Wasn’t the 737 line the most-scrutinized manufacturing line on the planet?” an analyst requested on a current Boeing earnings name. “So what occurred to get to the place we received as we speak?” (Chief government David Calhoun responded: “I perceive your underlying context for the query, however we take exception to that premise.”)

In any case, the FAA’s Whitaker is telling Congress that his company will likely be “aggressively increasing oversight of latest plane with elevated ground presence in any respect Boeing amenities,” and “capping expanded manufacturing of latest Boeing 737 MAX plane to make sure accountability and full compliance with required high quality management procedures.”


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