After two fatal crashes that killed 346 people and a global grounding that lasted nearly two years, the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators around the world are giving Boeing 737 Max jets the green light to fly again.
In the US, Boeing has been screened for software updates, certification, pilot training, and more by both the Chambers of Congress and the Department of Justice and SEC.
One of the most controversial issues in these investigations is the idea of self-regulation and certification.
Boeing employees were able to certify some aspects of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, but this type of self-regulation is not uncommon in much of the federal government, especially with agencies that regulate a single industry, such as the FAA and their organization designation approval.
“Congress realized that you couldn’t scale an FAA with the financial and human resources it takes to get people into every manufacturing facility,” said Greg Feith, former senior investigator for the NTSB. “They allowed these nominees, based on qualifications and experience, to represent the FAA, the administrator within the organization they oversee.”
He added, “The problem with the program over the years, of course, is that you build a relationship just like the FAA builds a relationship with the airlines. You can’t just go in there and take a long arm of the law and beat them. You try to work with them. “
After exhausting hearings on Capitol Hill the day before the FAA’s final decision, the House unanimously passed a bill reforming the aircraft certification process.
The invoicerequires, among other things, a panel of experts to assess safety culture and recommend improvements, and mandates aircraft manufacturers to implement safety management systems and perform system safety assessments for significant design changes. The bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate.
Some consumers remain concerned that the extensive recertification process and changes to software and corporate culture are not enough. Airlines are allowing passengers worried about the Boeing 737 Max to make free flight changes, and the company is struggling to improve its reputation.
Watch the video to learn more about grounding and grounding the Boeing 737 Max jets.