US aviation safety chief says Boeing has “more work to do”



WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (Reuters) – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson told a US Congressional panel that Boeing Co (BA.N) had “more work to do” as the Aircraft manufacturer continues to come under scrutiny after two fatal 737 MAX crashes in the span of five months in 2018-19 that left 346 dead.

“Boeing is not the same as it was two years ago, but they still have work to do,” Dickson told the Senate Trade Committee on Wednesday. Boeing did not immediately comment. “We have reset the relationship with Boeing in clear terms.”

Dickson’s comments came despite close scrutiny from Congress. Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the committee, revealed that she plans to release a report on aviation whistleblowers by the end of the year.

“Line engineers received early warnings, whether it was the (Boeing) 787 battery issue, or the issue with synthetic airspeeds or the complexity of automation and pilot overload. in the system, ”Cantwell said. “These line engineers were not listened to.”

Dickson said the FAA was delegating less responsibility to Boeing for aircraft certification. He told the committee that the FAA “demands more transparency” from manufacturers.

The FAA is currently reviewing a number of issues with Boeing aircraft.

Boeing agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department in January, including $ 2.5 billion in fines and compensation resulting from 737 MAX crashes.

In December, Congress approved legislation strengthening FAA oversight of aircraft manufacturers, requiring the disclosure of critical safety information, and providing new protections for whistleblowers.

Cantwell urged Dickson to find out whether the FAA could meet all of the demands for reform. “I’m not going to allow the law to be circumvented here. This question is whether you’re going to go through a process that allows us to see the work of the FAA, to see that it’s done,” Cantwell said.

An FAA investigation released in August 2020 found that some security workers said they faced “strong” external pressure from the industry and raised alarms, with the agency not always prioritizing security Aerial.

Dickson said on Wednesday he had “made it clear internally that we always do the right thing when it comes to safety – and I have the workforce behind me on that.”

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Marguerita Choy and Chizu Nomiyama

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