Boeing 737 MAX Status Meeting with Aviation Regulators in Montreal

Former Administrator Stephen M. Dickson (August 12, 2019 - March 31, 2022)

Welcome to everyone and thank you for joining us today.

When we fly anywhere in the world, we enjoy a certainty of safety that is unrivaled in the modern transportation era. All of us here understand that the success of the global aviation system rests squarely on our shared commitment to safety and our common understanding of what it takes to achieve it.

The grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX placed a spotlight on safety and the FAA’s approach to oversight of those we regulate. For the MAX, as with all aircraft, we made use of a thorough certification process that has consistently produced safe aviation products.

However, that process and the regulations that we use in certification programs are not static. They are continuously evolving. In the name of continuous improvement, we welcome feedback from our fellow civil aviation authorities, the aviation industry and the important independent reviews of the MAX and the FAA’s certification process.

The last few months have made it clear that, in the mind of the traveling public, aviation safety recognizes no borders. Travelers demand the same high level of safety no matter where they fly. It is up to us as aviation regulators to deliver on this shared responsibility.

The collaboration and transparency that has been so vital to our progress in understanding and responding to the 737 MAX accidents must continue as the world aviation community pursues new and more innovative ways to improve safety. Forums such as this week’s ICAO conference are vital to that ongoing exchange of ideas.

As we in the aviation world know, accidents in complex systems rarely are the result of a single cause; rather, they often happen due to a complex chain of events and interaction between man and machine.  If we are to continue to raise the bar for safety across the globe, it will be important for all of us at ICAO to foster improvements in standards and approaches for not just in how aircraft are designed and produced, but how they are maintained and operated. 

With respect to our international partners, the FAA clearly understands its responsibilities as State of Design for the 737 MAX. This meeting today is one of those key responsibilities—sharing the status of the FAA’s efforts to date. In addition to bringing you up to date with our latest progress, we stand ready to assist you technically and discuss the next steps in safely returning the aircraft to service in the U.S.

This rigorous process and our commitment to improvement will get us to the right answer – an aircraft that meets the highest safety standards. Our commitment to safety is unwavering, and we are doing everything we can to assure the public that we are being thorough in these efforts. I announced last week that I plan to fly the aircraft myself before the FAA returns the aircraft to flight.

As you make your own decisions about returning the MAX to service, we will continue to make available to you all that we have learned, all that we have done, and all of our assistance. You have my commitment on that. And because each of you is here, it’s clear you share that same commitment. I have every confidence and high expectations that this will be a constructive day.

Thank you for joining us.