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The imperative for Boeing to address safety concerns is underscored by a stern warning from the FAA chief

Boeing finds itself compelled to overhaul its safety standards in the wake of a string of prominent mishaps, triggering heightened scrutiny of the aviation giant’s operations, revealed Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Whitaker in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Tuesday.

Whitaker disclosed that a recent FAA assessment of Boeing’s practices exposed a company culture that prioritizes mass production over safety standards. In his discussion with “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” he remarked that the observed protocols fell short of expectations regarding safety, questioning their alignment with the paramount importance safety holds within the aviation industry.

“When any company briefs the FAA, the foremost expectation is a comprehensive discussion on safety, as it serves as the foundation for all operations,” Whitaker emphasized. “Without a commitment to safety, the integrity of the entire aviation ecosystem is compromised.”

The impetus for the audit stemmed from an alarming incident in January when a door plug on a Boeing 737-Max 9 aircraft dislodged shortly after takeoff on an Alaska Airlines flight. An initial investigation revealed the absence of bolts securing the plug, intensifying scrutiny already directed at the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max fleet.

Whitaker categorized the episode as a failure in production rather than a design flaw, contrasting it with previously identified design deficiencies following the fatal crashes of two 737 Max aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

Recent weeks have witnessed a spate of headlines featuring Boeing aircraft grappling with issues such as “stuck” rudder pedals, engine malfunctions midair, and even a tire detachment post-takeoff.

Whitaker pointed out deficiencies in the manufacturing process indicative of subpar production standards and subsequent lapses in quality assurance with the aircraft. However, he reassured the public that Boeing aircraft remain safe when stringent protocols are adhered to.

When queried about Boeing’s purported “too big to fail” status, Whitaker dismissed the notion. He emphasized that Boeing possesses ample resources to deliver superior aircraft, and the primary focus now rests on this imperative.

Boeing was given a 90-day ultimatum last month to devise a plan aimed at rectifying its corporate culture and practices to align with FAA standards. Boeing’s commitment to reform was evident in its pledge to implement immediate changes and devise a comprehensive action plan post-audit.

In response to whether Boeing would meet the FAA deadline, Whitaker expressed unwavering conviction. He asserted that Boeing’s compliance is imperative to ensure the production of safe aircraft and avoid a production cap that could imperil the company’s sustainability.

As Boeing navigates this critical juncture, the onus lies on the aviation titan to uphold safety as the cornerstone of its operations, underscoring its responsibility to passengers and the broader aviation community.

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