Lawmakers concerned FAA not implementing safety reforms


The Boeing Company logo is seen on a building in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, on March 11, 2019. – Tumbling shares in US aviation giant Boeing on Monday tore a hole in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sending the benchmark index into the red for a sixth day.About five minutes into the day’s trading, Boeing shares were down 11.7 percent at $373.23 following the most recent crash of one of its aircraft in Ethiopia.The Dow fell 153.81 points to 25,319.42, but the broader S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 2,758.27 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up an even stronger 0.7 percent at 7,474.61.The fatal crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 — the second involving a Boeing 737 Max 8 in five months — caused airlines in three countries to ground all flights involving the popular jet and cast fresh safety concerns on the airline. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — On the three year anniversary of the first Boeing 737 Max jet crash lawmakers in Washington held a hearing due to concerns that require safety reforms aren’t being implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In 2018 and 2019, 346 people died as a result of two Boeing 737 Max jet crashes.

Lawmakers now say the FAA isn’t implementing sweeping safety reforms they passed a year ago.

“I see the timelines drag out one, two years,” said Rep. Peter Defazio. “I get pretty tired of this process, particularly when lives are at stake – potentially at stake.”

In the aftermath of the crashes, Congress approved legislation that includes whistleblower protections and changes to the way planes and systems are certified for safety. This came after lawmakers found the relationship between the FAA and Boeing was too cozy.

FAA adminsitrator Steve Dickson said changes are happening.

“Safety is a journey not a destination,” he said. “One of the things I did as administrator is make it clear that we are the regulator and I reset the relationship with Boeing.

“But lawmakers say the changes by the FAA so far don’t meet the requirements Congress approved in a bipartisan way.”

Rep. Sam Graves asked, “Can I get your commitment today that FAA will no longer view some of the mandates in law as suggestions?”

“The FAA is absolutely committed,” Dickson said.

While reassuring lawmakers – he wants to meet the mandate, Dickson blamed red tape for any delays in implementing them.

“It has to be legally defensible,” he said. “And we have not been relieved of requirements of administrative procedures act.”

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