Senators Reed, Collins Call for DOT Audit on Certification of Boeing 737-MAX

WASHINGTON, DC — In the wake of the recent crashes involving the Boeing 737-MAX, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI) are calling on the Inspector General (IG) of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to audit the certification process for this aircraft. 

In a letter sent to Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III today, the Senators wrote:

The recent crash of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 resulted in 346 fatalities and have raised public concerns with Boeing’s 737-MAX aircraft.  While the investigations into the crashes are ongoing, it is important for us to ensure that the FAA’s aircraft certification process for this aircraft was not compromised in any way. We ask that you audit the certification of the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft and provide regular updates to us throughout your work and final report.

In your audit, we request that you examine the approval process for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), pilot training requirements for MCAS, and how Boeing communicated new features such as MCAS to customer airlines. Further, the audit should investigate the appropriateness of FAA’s use of organization designation authorization (ODA) and its role in FAA’s compliance program, which seeks to enhance safety performance through an open and transparent exchange of information requiring mutual cooperation and trust.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your updates and report.

Senators Collins and Reed, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, will lead a hearing TOMORROW to review the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget request for the U.S. DOT.  This is the first hearing since the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash and the grounding of the 737-MAX aircrafts by the FAA.

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