FAA Proposes $1.25 Million in Civil Penalties Against The Boeing Company

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes two civil penalties totaling $1.25 million against The Boeing Company for alleged violations in the program that allows the aircraft manufacturer to perform certain functions on behalf of the FAA. The FAA alleges that Boeing managers exerted undue pressure or interfered with the work of FAA designees at the company’s plant in South Carolina.

The first civil penalty, for $1,066,655, alleges Boeing implemented an improper structure of its FAA-approved Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program. The ODA program authorizes Boeing to perform approved functions on behalf of the FAA, including inspecting aircraft and issuing airworthiness certificates. Between November 2017 and July 2019, employees in two ODA units reported to managers who were not in approved ODA management positions. Boeing failed to ensure ODA administrators were in a position to effectively represent the FAA’s interests, the FAA alleges.

The FAA further alleges that between September 2018 and May 2019, non-ODA Boeing managers exerted undue pressure or interfered with ODA unit members.

The second civil penalty, for $184,522, alleges Boeing on Feb. 26, 2020 failed to follow its quality control processes and subjected ODA members to undue pressure or interfered with an airworthiness inspection of a Boeing 787-9.

In both cases, the FAA found that despite the alleged undue pressure or interference from Boeing managers, the ODA unit members fulfilled their FAA responsibilities to ensure aircraft were conforming and in a condition for safe operation prior to issuance of their airworthiness certificates.  

Boeing has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letters to respond to the agency.