FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days to Develop Plan to Address Quality-Control Issues

Associated media – Associated media

The meeting on Tuesday, which took place at the F.A.A.’s headquarters in Washington, came two weeks after Mr. Whitaker toured Boeing’s 737 plant in Renton, Wash. During his visit, Mr. Whitaker spoke with Boeing engineers and mechanics to try to get a better sense of the safety culture at the factory. The F.A.A. said after his visit that Mr. Whitaker planned to discuss what he saw during his visit when he met with Boeing executives in Washington.

On Monday, the F.A.A. released a report by a panel of experts that found that Boeing’s safety culture remained flawed, despite improvements made after fatal 737 Max 8 crashes in 2018 and 2019. The report, which was mandated by Congress, had been in the works before the harrowing episode in January involving the Max 9.

Boeing has come under another wave of scrutiny after that episode, which occurred shortly after an Alaska Airlines flight took off from Portland, Ore. No one was seriously injured when the panel, known as a door plug, came off the plane, but the F.A.A. quickly grounded similar Max 9 jets. The regulator gave the green light for those planes to resume flying later in January.

In a preliminary report released this month, the National Transportation Safety Board said that the four bolts used to secure the panel that ultimately blew off the plane had been removed at Boeing’s factory in Renton, and it suggested that the bolts may not have been reinstalled.

Since the episode, the F.A.A. has taken an aggressive posture toward Boeing, barring the company from expanding production of the 737 Max series until quality-control issues are addressed. The agency also began auditing the company’s production of the Max and opened an investigation into the plane maker’s compliance with manufacturing requirements.

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