After grounding 171 Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, the U.S Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating Boeing’s manufacturing practices and production lines, including those involving subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems, bolstering its oversight of Boeing, and examining potential system change.
While operators are keen to get the aircraft flying again, the FAA has stressed that public safety alone will determine when that will be.
READ: Boeing to “fully support” inspections of grounded 737-9s
In a statement, the government body said: “The FAA has announced requirements for a rigorous inspection and maintenance process as a new and necessary step before the it contemplates any further steps in the process to return the aircraft to service. The first 40 inspections that are part of that process are now complete, and the FAA will thoroughly review the data from them. All 737-9 MAX aircraft with door plugs will remain grounded pending the FAA’s review and final approval of an inspection and maintenance process that satisfies all FAA safety requirements. Once the FAA approves an inspection and maintenance process, it will be required on every grounded 737-9 MAX prior to future operation. The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning these aircraft to service”.
Meanwhile, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun has visited Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas, and addressed an all-hands meeting to address the issue.
“We’re going to get better, not because the two of us are talking, but because the engineers at Boeing, the mechanics at Boeing, the inspectors at Boeing, the engineers at Spirit, the mechanics at Spirit, the inspectors at Spirit — they’re going to speak the same language on this in every way, shape or form. We’re going to learn from it, and then we’re going to apply it to literally everything else we do together,” he told the Spirit AeroSystems employees.