FAA to fine Boeing for tampering at 787 Dreamliner plant

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it proposed two separate fines for Boeing, totaling $1.25 million as the manufacturer‘s managers allegedly interfered with the administration’s designees at the North Charleston, South Carolina site, where Boeing produces the 787 Dreamliner.

According to the FAA, the first fine for $1.06 million alleges that Boeing did not implement a proper structure of its Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program, which is approved by the FAA. The administration states that between November 2017 and July 2019, employees of two ODA units reported to managers who were not approved to work as ODA managers.

“Boeing failed to ensure ODA administrators were in a position to effectively represent the FAA’s interests,” alleges the organization.

ODA allows aircraft manufacturers to delegate their own workers to perform certain approved functions on behalf of the FAA, such as aircraft inspection and the issuance of airworthiness certificates.

The second fine for up to $185,000 alleges that Boeing failed to follow quality control (QC) procedures and subjected ODA designees to undue pressure or “interfered with an airworthiness inspection of a Boeing 787-9.”

Despite the violations, the ODA unit members were able to fulfill their responsibilities and ensure that the aircraft was safe to operate prior to issuing their airworthiness certificates.

The South Carolina plant was at the forefront of a few controversies, including allegations of safety lapses throughout the assembly process of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. In 2019, a former employee at the company claimed that up to a quarter of oxygen systems installed on Dreamliners were defective. Another report claimed that a bunch of Foreign Object Debris (FOD) was found inside the aircraft, including a ladder, alleged another former Boeing employee, reported the New York Times in April 2019.

“Boeing has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the agency.”


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