US Transport Sec defends FAA over delegation of standards to Boeing
US TRANSPORTATION Secretary Elaine Chao defended the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to assign of aircraft safety certification work to manufacturers, reported Bloomberg
US TRANSPORTATION Secretary Elaine Chao defended the Federal Aviation Administration's decision to assign of aircraft safety certification work to manufacturers, reported Bloomberg.
At the Senate hearing Ms Chao defended the F's longstanding practice to delegate safety approvals for new jets to employees of the companies that manufacture them.
She said the arrangement is necessary because F needs the manufacturers' expertise and said the process is subject to F oversight.
'Having said that, I am of course concerned about any allegations of cosiness with any company,' Ms Chao said. 'These questions, when they arise, if they arise, are troubling, because we should have absolute confidence in the regulators that they are certifying properly.'
The Transportation Department's inspector general is investigating the F's certification of the 737 Max, which she requested last week.
Ms Chao also announced this week that she is forming a new commission to review the F's certification process for new aircraft.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said she's looking at preparing a bill to require that key safety equipment be included in the basic sale price of planes.
'To have two planes go down, allegedly from the same problem within a limited period of time with a lot of people aboard says we're doing something wrong to me,' Sen Feinstein said. 'So I feel very strongly that key safety equipment should be included.''
Ms Chao said while the agency wants to see what the reviews recommend, 'I think it's troubling that if indeed it was a safety feature, that it was not included.''
Boeing intends to present US regulators with the final documents for certification of a software fix later this week, the last step in a process the company outlined for the Federal Aviation Administration on January. 21. .