U.S. Lawmakers To Probe Boeing Production Issues
WASHINGTON—U.S. House transportation committee leaders plan to dig into production-quality issues that have held up deliveries of Boeing 787s and 737 MAXs and have grounded part of the 737 MAX fleet.
Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rick Larsen (D-Washington), chair of the subcommittee on aviation, have asked Boeing and the FAA for production records “regarding continued issues with the manufacture and production of Boeing commercial aircraft,” the lawmakers said May 18. The lawmakers also provided a list of questions they want answered.
The request comes on the heels of a two-year probe into the 737 MAX and FAA certification following two fatal 737 MAX accidents.
“Our investigation into the Boeing 737 MAX—which led to our final report released last fall—revealed multiple troubling details about the decisions made regarding the design, development, and certification of the airplane that played key roles in two deadly crashes,” DeFazio said. “[I]n light of these new and ongoing issues that point to problems in maintaining quality control and appropriate FAA oversight of production issues, I will thoroughly and deliberatively investigate any issues, such as those affecting the 737 MAX and the 787, that may endanger public safety.”
Boeing halted 787 deliveries in October 2020 to inspect aircraft for production-related defects linked to fuselage skins that did not meet design specifications. The delivery pause lasted five months.
In early April, Boeing revealed potential electrical system issues on 737 MAXs produced since early 2019. The issue led Boeing to recommend grounding affected aircraft—about 105 in the global fleet. The FAA recently approved Boeing’s proposed fixes and regulators are requiring they be done before affected aircraft return to service.