FAA – 90-day Deadline For Boeing Quality Fixes Approaching

By Spyros Georgilidakis | May 23, 2024

The end of May is coming and with it, the deadline that the FAA gave Boeing, to present a plan to fix its quality control and safety culture.

Boeing continues to suffer from the aftermath of last January’s Alaska Airlines 737 MAX-9 door plug blowout. About a month after that event came the publication of a previously-commissioned, FAA report on Boeing’s safety culture. It made for troubling reading.

Photo: NTSB

The report suggested a six-month deadline, for Boeing to address its shortcomings. The FAA amended that requirement, giving Boeing just 90 days, to come up with a plan to address its safety culture and the quality control issues that the MAX-9 blowout brought to light.

Some analysts like Scott Hamilton in Leeham News reported on industry doubts that Boeing will meet that deadline. But either way, Boeing itself acknowledges that its predicament will last much longer than that.

FAA – 90-day Deadline For Boeing Quality Fixes Approaching
Boeing’s 737 factory in Renton. Photo: Jelson25, CC BY-SA 3.0

Boeing Addresses Quality and Culture Issues – FAA (and many others) Look On

Even if Boeing manages to meet the FAA deadline, public scrutiny over its quality control won’t end any time soon. Boeing’s CFO Brian West stated that the 90-day plan it is preparing “…is not the finish line”.

That statement echoes FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker, who said that the Boeing plan will be the beginning of the process to fix the manufacturer’s quality issues – NOT the end. The 90-day deadline for the submission of the plan ends next week.

FAA – 90-day Deadline For Boeing Quality Fixes Approaching
Photo: NTSB

It appears that Boeing has been working with the FAA for some time, as it prepares this recovery plan. This seems encouraging, but Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says that Boeing will need to demonstrate that any plan it presents will actually work on the production line(s).

For Boeing, this process is just one of the upcoming challenges it needs to face. The other is of course the scrutiny and possible legal action from the United States Justice Department. This is because its actions over the MAX-9 blowout may have breached a 2021 Deferred Prosecution Agreement, following the 2018 and 2019 737 MAX-8 crashes.


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