FAA panel review indicates gaps in 'Boeing's safety journey'

Feb. 29, 2024
FAA says it will continue to hold Boeing "to the highest standard of safety" and will work to ensure the company addresses 53 recommendations made by the panel, Rebecca Kanable writes for AviationPros.

FORT ATKINSON, Wis., - Prior to the Jan. 5 mid-flight dislodging of a Boeing 737 MAX 9 door plug, the safety management processes and effectiveness of Boeing Commercial Airplanes were under review. A final report from that review is now available. In total, an expert panel selected by the FAA identified 27 findings, then made associated recommendations to improve safety processes, Rebecca Kanable writes for AviationProsContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

29 February 2024 - According to a summary of the panel’s work:

  • The panel observed a safety culture disconnect between Boeing’s senior management and other members of the organization. Interviewees, including ODA Unit members, also questioned whether Boeing’s safety reporting systems would function in a way that ensures open communication and non-retaliation.
  • The panel also observed inadequate and confusing implementation of the components of a positive safety culture. Boeing SMS procedures are not structured in a way that ensures all employees understand their role in the company’s SMS. The procedures and training are complex and in a constant state of change, creating employee confusion.
  • The panel also found a lack of awareness of safety-related metrics. ODA unit management restructuring decreased opportunities for interference and retaliation against unit members, but still allowed opportunities for retaliation to occur, particularly regarding salary and furlough ranking. This influences the ability of ODA unit members to execute their delegated functions effectively.

Related: What is a door plug, and why do some airplanes have them?

Related: Boeing 737 MAX 9 still without a timeline to return to the sky

Related: Boeing CEO addresses safety and transparency

Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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