US House of Representatives approves FAA Aircraft Certification Reform Bill

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The US House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that will reform the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft certification process. This actions follows two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes within five months that killed 346 people.

The House committee responsible for investigating the airplanes issued a preliminary report in March that identified errors and failures in multiple areas on the part of Boeing and the FAA. In June senators introduced the Aircraft Safety and Reform Act of 2020 to reform the FAA’s aircraft certification process and give the FAA more authority over the process. In September the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee issued a report determining the both Boeing and the FAA were at fault in certifying and developing the 737 MAX airplane.

On Tuesday the House unanimously approved the Aircraft Safety and Reform Act. The bill will require an expert panel to evaluate Boeing’s safety culture and to recommend improvements. Additionally, aircraft manufacturers will be required to adopt safety management systems and complete safety assessment for significant design changes. The bill must now be approved by the Senate.

On Wednesday FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order allowing the Boeing 737 MAX to return to commercial service. The airplane has been grounded since March 2019, but its return was approved following 20 months of safety review, new safeguards and training upgrades.

See the new bill