US watchdog to audit FAA oversight of Boeing 737, 787 production

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The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has set a date to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) oversight of Boeing 737 and 787 production across the US.  

News of the audit follows multiple complaints regarding Boeing 747 and 787 production issues and allegations of unjustified pressure on employees at plane assembly lines.  

The audit is scheduled to take place in July 2022, and will be performed at several Boeing aircraft plants, including Charleston, Renton, South Carolina, and Washington, the DOT’s Inspector General confirmed in a statement released on June 29, 2022.  

Citing several complaints submitted to US Congress, the FAA, and the DOT itself, the watchdog said it would be evaluating the FAA’s processes for “identifying and resolving production issues” as well as to address “allegations of undue pressure within the production environment”. 

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of passenger aircraft in the United States, including ensuring that aviation manufacturers such as Boeing meet safety requirements when producing and delivering new aircraft. However, since 2019, a number of concerns have been raised regarding production of the Boeing 737 and 787 aircraft—the two production lines with the largest number of aircraft on order,” the DOT statement reads. 

“Boeing has not delivered any 787 aircraft in over a year due to production quality issues, and in December 2021, FAA mandated inspections on certain previously delivered 787 aircraft due to reports of missed requirements during assembly. […] In light of these concerns, the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Subcommittee on Aviation requested that we evaluate FAA’s oversight of Boeing aircraft production,” the watchdog explained. 

According to the DOT, more than 330 million passengers worldwide flew on Boeing planes in 2021. With a backlog of almost 4,200 jets on order, the manufacturer completed deliveries of more than 160 new jets during the first half of 2022, including the MAX model.  


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