FAA to review reports from Boeing employees on pressure on safety concerns

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Federal Aviation Administration is launching a broad review of how Boeing Co. employees handle safety issues on behalf of the agency after some company engineers say they are under undue pressure, letter says agency and people familiar with the subject.

An FAA investigation this year found that 35% of a small sample of some Boeing employees reported issues, including pressures and barriers to transparency, according to an Aug. 19 letter from the agency to Boeing. . Some employees interviewed, who are part of a group empowered by the agency to help it in its work, said they had encountered difficulties being transparent with regulators, according to the letter, which was viewed by the Wall Street Journal. .

U.S. aviation regulators have long relied on employees of aerospace companies to act on their behalf to perform certain tasks, such as signing certain safety assessments or approving aircraft delivery. The issues cited by Boeing employees in the survey “indicate that the environment does not promote the independence” of those empowered to act on the agency’s behalf, according to the letter, which was signed by Ian Won. , acting director of the FAA’s Boeing watchdog office. in the Seattle area.

A spokeswoman for Boeing said the company takes “these matters very seriously” and is working to strengthen the independence of its employees who work for the FAA.

“We have constantly reinforced with our team that delegated authority is a privilege and that we have to work every day to be given responsibility,” she said. Boeing has ordered its FAA delegates “to be accorded the same respect and deference that is shown to our dispatcher.”


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