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Chairs DeFazio and Larsen Statements on DOT Inspector General’s Second Report Regarding the Boeing 737 MAX

February 24, 2021

Washington, DC – Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) released the following statements after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General finalized the second of its two reports regarding the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX. Chairs DeFazio and Larsen had requested the DOT IG investigation shortly after the second Boeing 737 MAX crash occurred in March 2019, while also initiating the Committee’s own probe that resulted in a final report and later, bipartisan legislation enacted into law.

“The Inspector General’s findings mirror the multiple failures of the aircraft certification process that we discovered during our own investigation and reported out last September. That’s why I have been and remain seriously concerned that Boeing was able to put a fatally-flawed aircraft into service under FAA’s certification process—a fundamental indictment of the shortcomings of that process,” Chair DeFazio said. “I will push the FAA to prioritize public safety, accountability and oversight by implementing the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act without delay, as this report is yet another disturbing reminder of how much work the FAA has ahead to correct the multitude of problems within the current aviation regulatory structure.”

“The DOT Inspector General’s report confirms what the Committee’s thorough investigation of the tragic 737 MAX crashes uncovered: the FAA’s aircraft certification process is deeply flawed,” Chair Larsen said. “As Chair of the Aviation Subcommittee, I worked with Chair DeFazio and the Ranking Members to pass strong, bipartisan legislation to address the significant cultural and structural deficiencies issues identified in the FAA’s organization designation authorization (ODA) program and oversight of U.S. aviation manufacturing. I will continue to keep the 346 victims of the two crashes and their families at the forefront as the Committee oversees implementation of the aircraft certification reform bill to improve aviation safety.”

Background:

In March 2019, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Majority Staff, at the direction of Chairs DeFazio and Larsen, began its own investigation into the design, development, and certification of the Boeing 737 MAX. As part of the 18-month long investigation, the Committee held five public hearings with more than 20 witnesses; sent nearly two dozen oversight letters; obtained an estimated 600,000 pages of documents from Boeing, the FAA, and others; received information and insight from former and current employees who contacted the Committee directly through the Committee’s whistleblower link; and interviewed dozens of current and former Boeing and FAA employees.

Read the Committee’s final report here.

Learn about DeFazio and Larsen’s bipartisan legislation, the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act —which passed Congress and was signed into law in December 2020—that reforms the country’s aircraft certification system here

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