Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) are seeking records from The Boeing Company and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding continued issues with the manufacture and production of Boeing commercial aircraft at facilities in both Washington state and South Carolina.
Chairs DeFazio and Larsen first sought records on the Boeing 737 MAX in April 2019, following two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. Their investigation, the largest in the Committee’s recent history, led to a 238-page report prepared by Majority staff and later, bipartisan legislation to overhaul the FAA’s certification process. The “Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act,” signed into law in December 2020, is now in the process of being implemented by the FAA.
However, multiple issues have recently emerged regarding the 737 MAX as well the 787, including electrical problems, the presence of foreign object debris in newly manufactured aircraft, and other issues pointing to quality control problems and the ability of the FAA to properly oversee both production facilities. Last month, more than 100 737 MAX aircraft were grounded after Boeing identified an electrical power system defect that affected important cockpit instrumentation. The FAA approved Boeing’s fixes last week.
Chair DeFazio and Larsen are asking both Boeing and the FAA to respond to several questions and to provide records regarding production-related issues and the FAA’s oversight of Boeing’s manufacturing operations.
“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,” Chair DeFazio said. “However, as I’ve stated many times, our oversight work never ends.” In light of the new and ongoing concerns that point to problems in maintaining quality control and appropriate FAA oversight of production issues, Chair DeFazio has pledged to thoroughly investigate any issues, such as those affecting the 737 MAX and the 787, that may endanger public safety.
“Congress has an obligation to the 346 victims of the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes and their families, as well as the traveling public, to ensure U.S. aviation remains the global gold standard in safety,” Chair Larsen said. “As Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, I will continue to push for rigorous oversight of the FAA and industry to improve the safety of air travel.”