Three Senate Dems Pitch New Bill to Reform Aircraft Certification After Boeing 737 MAX Accidents
Three Democratic U.S. senators Tuesday brought in sweeping legislation to remodel how new airplanes are licensed and controlled by U.S. regulators after two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes killed 346 people.
The bill would erect an independent plane certification commission, ban Boeing and other companies from tying employee compensation to delivery of aircraft and increase oversight of manufacturers that deal with delegated certification duties on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The legislation would set new guidelines and standards for people handling delegated certification duties and require regular audits.
Boeing’s best-selling jetliner has been downed since March 2019, and some have criticized the FAA for its role in certifying the jet’s new safety system in the wake of both deadly crashes.
The legislation may give the FAA administrator power to deem airplanes not sellable in specific nations till airways met training, operating and maintenance. It might require the FAA to assess a country that follows international safety standards prior to being bought U.S. manufactured planes.
The laws would incentivize potential whistleblowers to report companies attempting to hide severe defects. Whistleblowers could obtain as much as 30% of monetary sanctions for data leading to a successful decision.
Major aviation unions support the bill along with the Air Line Pilots Association, the Affiliation of Flight Attendants and Transport Workers Union of America.
The legislation may reverse several provisions of a 2018 law limiting when the FAA might maintain oversight of airplane functions or ordering broader delegation.
Republicans have said they want to await the result of investigations before calling for several reforms.