Boeing to pay feds $17 million to settle 737 enforcement cases

An Avior Airlines 737 prepares to take off at Miami International Airport on July 26, 2015. (Photo by Todd DeFeo)

The Boeing Company will pay at least $17 million in penalties and take corrective action with its production as part of a settlement agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA determined the Chicago-based manufacturer installed sensors on 759 Boeing 737 MAX and NG aircraft that were not approved for the equipment. The feds also said the manufacturer submitted roughly 178 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for airworthiness certification when the aircraft possibly had nonconforming slat tracks installed and improperly marked those slat tracks.

“Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility. That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

Boeing will pay the $17 million penalty within 30 days after signing the agreement. In addition, if Boeing does not fulfill specific corrective actions in time, the FAA will levy up to $10.1 million in additional penalties.

The corrective actions include:

  • Strengthening procedures ensuring that it does not install on aircraft any parts that fail to conform to their approved design.
  • Performing Safety Risk Management analyses to determine whether its supply-chain oversight processes are appropriate and whether the company is ready to safely increase the Boeing 737 production rate.
  • Revising its production procedures to enable the FAA to observe production rate readiness assessments, the data on which the company bases the assessments, and the results of the assessments.
  • Taking steps to reduce the chance that it presents to the FAA aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification or a Certificate of Export.
  • Enhancing processes to improve its oversight of parts suppliers.

The FAA said the agency will continue its oversight of Boeing’s engineering and production activities and actively implements oversight provisions from the 2020 Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act. 

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