Thursday, May 23

Boeing’s Safety Culture Faulted by F.A.A. in New Report

A Federal Aviation Administration report released on Monday found flaws in Boeing’s safety culture while noting that the airplane manufacturer had made some improvements since two fatal crashes involving the 737 Max 8 jet in 2018 and 2019.

The report, written by a group of experts convened a year ago at Congress’ behest, found that there was a “disconnect” between senior management and other employees at Boeing. The company, the panel found, has at times been “inadequate and confusing” in the way it carried out its safety culture.

In a statement, the F.A.A. said that it would “immediately begin a thorough review of the report” and take action on its recommendations as appropriate.

“We will continue to hold Boeing to the highest standard of safety and will work to ensure the company comprehensively addresses these recommendations,” the agency said.

Boeing said in a statement that it supported the panel’s review and has taken “important steps” to improve its safety culture, though it acknowledged that “there is more work to do.”

New concerns about the company’s safety culture emerged last month after a panel blew open on a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane during an Alaska Airlines flight. The new F.A.A. report does not reference that incident, but the National Transportation Safety Board has said that the panel, known as a door plug, on the Alaska plane appears to have been missing critical bolts to hold it in place.

The F.A.A. panel issued 53 recommendations, based on a review of thousands of pages of Boeing documents and over 250 interviews. The recommendations include urging Boeing to better communicate and define the language it uses in reinforcing safety and do more to convince employees that their anonymity will be protected when they report concerns or problems.

Internally, Boeing has been encouraging employees to be proactive in protecting safety and other principles valued by the company by urging them to “seek, speak and listen.” But the panel found that there had been “little or no attention given to seek or listen.”