On June 21, 2021, the United States Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) reportedly introduced a non-punitive and confidential way for their employees to report aircraft safety concerns.
“We can never be satisfied with the status quo when it comes to safety, and the free exchange of vital information is a cornerstone of safety and continual improvement,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson in a statement, seen by Reuters.
“We want our employees to know that when they speak up, they can be sure someone is listening,” Dickson added.
With the new program in function, the American aviation regulator employees would have the ability to report various safety concerns with regards to the aircraft manufacturing confidentially and without being exposed to external pressure, according to the US aviation regulator.
Earlier in May 2021, the members of the United States House of Representatives announced seeking more data from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration on Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 787 Dreamliner manufacture issues.
Following the latest production problems with Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the US House of Representatives Transportation Committee chairman Peter DeFazio and the chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee Rick Larsen said they would need records on both aircraft production in order to examine issues that were “pointing to quality control problems and the ability of the FAA to properly oversee both production facilities”.
The US lawmakers put a spotlight on the FAA certification procedures after two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes, claiming that “the FAA failed in its oversight of Boeing and its certification of the aircraft”.
Both the Lion Air flight JT610 in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 in March 2019 crashes were blamed on an MCAS system malfunction. The system, which at the time was a little-known innovation installed on all Boeing MAX planes, is activated when angle of attack (AOA) sensors indicate that the airframe is in a dangerous angle and attempts to correct it. But if the AOA signal is erroneous, the MCAS can force an airplane nose down ‒ which is what caused the downings of flights ET302 and JT610.
The US Federal Aviation Administration ungrounded the aircraft on November 18, 2021.