The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) expansion cap on Boeing’s 737 MAX production will remain in place as the regulator continues its oversight of the company, after a meeting with the manufacturer’s leadership outlining a safety roadmap for the future. 

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said “systemic change” was needed at the US manufacturer to transform its safety culture after a series of reports found major concerns with safety and quality control at the 737 MAX factory following a door plug blowout of an Alaska Airlines plane in January. 

While the regulator said it had reviewed Boeing’s plan to improve safety, Whitaker underlined that he would continue to hold the company accountable “every step of the way” through its implementation. 

Whitaker said: “Today, we reviewed Boeing’s roadmap to set a new standard of safety and underscored that they must follow through on corrective actions and effectively transform their safety culture. 

“On the FAA’s part, we will make sure they do and that their fixes are effective. This does not mark the end of our increased oversight of Boeing and its suppliers, but it sets a new standard of how Boeing does business.” 

Boeing’s leadership also spoke after the meeting to highlight the work it had been doing on its safety culture and outline the six key measurements it would use to measure the success of its ‘Safety and Quality Plan’. 

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These included: employee proficiency in core skills, time spent on reworking non-confirming work from the fabrication division and external suppliers in final assembly facilities, shortages per day from suppliers, and the number of unfinished jobs travelling from the final assembly factory. 

Stephanie Pope, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who replaced previous CEO Stan Deal during an executive shakeup in March, said that the company’s plan was built on the feedback of employees and the requirements of the FAA. 

She said: “We are confident in the plan that we have put forward and are committed to continuously improving. We will work under the FAA’s oversight and uphold our responsibility to the flying public to continue delivering safe, high-quality airplanes.” 

News of the FAA’s continued scrutiny comes just a few days after reports emerged that Boeing had found a design fix for an issue with its new 737 MAX planes that had been delaying certification of the MAX 7 and 10 models.