FAA gives Boeing 90 days to come up with quality-control plan

A Boeing 737 Max aircraft. (Photo: Reuters)
A Boeing 737 Max aircraft. (Photo: Reuters)

Summary

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has asked Boeing to develop a comprehensive action plan within 90 days to address its systemic quality-control issues, after the midair blowout of a door plug on an Alaska Airlines jet last month.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has asked Boeing to develop a comprehensive action plan within 90 days to address its systemic quality-control issues, after the midair blowout of a door plug on an Alaska Airlines jet last month.

“Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements," FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said Wednesday after meeting Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun and his senior safety team.

“Making foundational change will require a sustained effort from Boeing’s leadership, and we are going to hold them accountable every step of the way, with mutually understood milestones and expectations,"  Whitaker said.

The FAA in January grounded scores of MAX 9 jets after the Alaska Airlines accident. It later cleared the grounded jets to resume flying after airlines completed inspections but halted production expansion of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Responding to the FAA statement, Boeing’s CEO said Wednesday that the plane maker is committed to addressing concerns and developing the plan.

“We have a clear picture of what needs to be done. Transparency prevailed in all of these discussions," Calhoun said.

Earlier this week, an independent panel established by the FAA said that Boeing’s efforts to improve its safety culture after two 737 MAX crashes are falling short. The panel, which issued a report Monday, also found a disconnect between Boeing’s senior management and others at the company over safety matters. The Boeing safety review was prompted after two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019.

Write to Kimberley Kao at kimberley.kao@wsj.com

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