FAA Gives Boeing 90-Day Deadline to Fix Quality Concerns

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has issued Boeing a 90-day ultimatum, demanding the development of a comprehensive action plan to rectify systemic quality-control issues and align with non-negotiable safety standards.

This directive follows a recent mid-air emergency involving an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 aircraft, where a door panel detached, prompting pilots to execute an emergency landing from 16,000 feet with a significant breach.

During an extensive safety deliberation at FAA Headquarters, attended by Boeing's Chief Executive Officer and President, Dave Calhoun, and his senior safety team, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker emphasized the necessity for Boeing to enact substantive and enduring improvements. Whitaker underscored the agency's commitment to enforcing accountability, outlining a framework of mutually agreed-upon milestones and expectations.

Whitaker communicated the FAA's expectation for Boeing to furnish a comprehensive action plan within the stipulated 90-day timeframe. This plan should incorporate the impending outcomes of an FAA production-line audit and the latest insights from an expert review panel report mandated by the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act of 2020.

The expert panel's review highlighted significant deficiencies in Boeing's safety management processes, citing inadequate and convoluted implementation of essential safety culture components. The action plan must outline Boeing's strategies to enhance its Safety Management System (SMS) program, initiated in 2019.

Additionally, integration of the SMS program with a quality management system is imperative, ensuring consistent oversight across Boeing's suppliers and fostering a measurable, systemic enhancement in manufacturing quality control.

In essence, the FAA's directive signals a critical juncture for Boeing, demanding a comprehensive strategy to address longstanding safety concerns and instill a culture of rigorous quality control throughout the organization and its supply chain.

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