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737 Max

House Committee Bill Seeks to Strengthen FAA Certification After 737 MAX Debacle

House Committee Bill Seeks to Strengthen FAA Certification After 737 MAX Debacle
Joe Cortez

Members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure are introducing a law which could change how new aircraft get an airworthiness directive from the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill would create safety management systems, changes the Organization Designation Authorization unit process, and would create more transparency during the process.

Members from both sides of the aisle have introduced a bill which could potentially overhaul how new airframes get certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. Introduced by the members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the Aircraft Certification Reform and Accountability Act seeks to correct issues identified by the two Boeing 737 MAX incidents.

Bill Seeks to Create Transparency During Process

As introduced, the bill would seek to change the way new airframes are evaluated prior to their final airworthiness directive. The law would force Boeing and other U.S. aircraft and aerospace managers to adopt safety management systems, including employee reporting without retaliation. In addition, airline whistleblower protections would be extended to the aircraft manufacturers, allowing them to report safety concerns without fear.

Manufacturers would be barred from withholding critical information on transport-category aircraft, such as information about the Boeing 737 MAX MCAS system. A lack of system operational knowledge contributed to the two 737 MAX accidents, killing over 300 people.

Boeing would also be targeted by the FAA, to make internal changes for the safer. An expert panel would review the Boeing safety culture and make recommendations, while the FAA would have to directly approve new Organization Designation Authorization unit members within one year of the bill becoming law.

“For the past 18 months, the Boeing 737 MAX has been synonymous with the tragic loss of 346 innocent people, a broken safety culture at Boeing, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA,” committee chair Peter DeFazio said in a press release. “With the comprehensive legislation we are unveiling, I believe history can also show this was the moment Congress stepped up to meaningfully address the gaps in the regulatory system for certifying aircraft and adopt critical reforms that will improve public safety and ensure accountability at all levels going forward.”

Law Introduced Prior to 737 MAX Reauthorization

The introduction of the bill comes as the Boeing 737 MAX is being considered for a new airworthiness directive by the FAA. An investigation by FlyerTalk discovered opinions were mixed on the proposed changes, with some stakeholder groups recommending additional changes prior to carrying passengers once again.

The bill is currently in the committee phase, and has not been passed into law. The House committee is expected to review the bill on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020.

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1 Comment

  1. TWAflyer


    September 30, 2020 at 6:05 am

    FYI…Disneyworld requires masks for two-year olds and enforces that policy.

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