Read Out from FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker’s Trip to the Seattle, Washington, area

Thursday, February 15, 2024

As part of the FAA’s continuous work to enhance safety, Administrator Mike Whitaker visited the Seattle, Washington, area earlier this week to hear directly from FAA employees who oversee Boeing. 

Administrator Whitaker received valuable feedback from FAA employees involved in the oversight of Boeing, and met with FAA inspectors on the ground at Boeing who are auditing the company’s manufacturing quality control.

"We are aggressively expanding oversight of new aircraft with increased floor presence at all Boeing facilities to ensure Boeing is delivering safe airplanes," he said. 

Whitaker toured the Boeing 737 production line with Boeing senior leadership to learn more about their production and manufacturing processes. Additionally, he spoke with Boeing engineers and mechanics to better understand the safety culture at the Renton facility.

Administrator Whitaker also visited Alaska Airlines to discuss the 737 MAX 9 return to service and actions taken by both the FAA and Alaska to improve oversight following the incident on January 5th. "Aviation safety is a team sport, and I saw that at Alaska. We must continue to work closely with Alaska Airlines and others in the industry to find ways to continuously improve safety across the aviation system."

Administrator Whitaker will discuss what he observed during his visit to Boeing with the company’s executives when they come to Washington to discuss the company’s emphasis on their quality control system, compliance with manufacturing requirements, and expansion of the Safety Management Systems. The agency also expects to wrap up its enhanced oversight audit of Boeing’s production and manufacturing quality systems in the next few weeks and will receive the independent assessment from the Boeing Safety Culture Review panel that the agency commissioned last year as part of Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act.