Boeing hits deadline for reporting on how it will fix plane safety and quality issues, BA

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110557879FILE – The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on July 13, 2021. Boeing will tell federal regulators Thursday, May 30, 2024, how it plans to fix the safety and quality problems that have plagued the aircraft manufacturing industry in recent years. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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FILE – Boeing’s logo appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, July 13, 2021. Boeing will tell federal regulators Thursday, May 30, 2024, how it plans to fix safety and quality issues affecting the have plagued aircraft manufacturing in recent years. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Boeing will tell federal regulators Thursday how it plans to fix the safety and quality problems that have plagued aircraft production in recent years.

The Federal Aviation Administration required the company to create a recovery plan after one of its jets suffered a blow to a fuselage panel during an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

No one was injured during the mid-air incident. Accident investigators determined that the bolts that secure the panel to the frame of the Boeing 737 Max 9 were missing before the piece blew off. The mishhas have further damaged Boeing’s reputation and led to multiple civil and criminal investigations.

Whistleblowers have accused the company of taking shortcuts that endanger passengers, an allegation Boeing disputes. A panel convened by the FAA found shortcomings in the plane maker’s safety culture.

In late February, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker gave Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan to improve quality and address the agency’s safety concerns. Whitaker described the plan as the beginning, not the end, of a process to improve Boeing.

“It’s going to be a long road to get Boeing back where they need to be, making safe airplanes,” he told ABC News last week.

The FAA limited Boeing’s production of the 737 Max, its best-selling aircraft, although analysts believe the number the company makes is even lower than the FAA limit.

Boeing’s recent troubles could expose the company to criminal charges related to the deadly crashes of two Max jetliners in 2018 and 2019. The Justice Department said two weeks ago that Boeing violated the terms of a 2021 settlement, causing the company could avoid prosecution for fraud. The charges were based on allegations that the company misled regulators about a flight control system involved in the crashes. Most of the recent problems are related to the Max, but Boeing and key supplier Spirit AeroSystems have also suffered production defects on a larger plane, the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing has had setbacks on other programs, including the Starliner space capsule, a military tanker and the new Air Force One presidential planes.

Boeing officials have vowed to regain the trust of regulators and the flying public. Boeing has fallen behind rival Airbus, and production setbacks have hurt the company’s ability to generate cash.

The company says it is reducing “travel work” – assembly tasks performed in the correct chronological order – and keeping a closer eye on Spirit AeroSystems.

  • Published on May 30, 2024 1:29 PM IST

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