The FAA says it’s keeping a closer eye on Boeing as it investigates cabin panel blowout

Following last week’s terrifying incident in which a Boeing 737 Max 9 lost a cabin panel mid-flight, the Federal Aviation Administration says it will have more oversight of the company’s production and manufacturing. The FAA is also carrying out an investigation into Boeing following the incident, which led to the agency grounding around 171 of the company’s 737 Max 9 planes.

The FAA says it will audit the 737 Max 9 production line and its suppliers to make sure Boeing is complying with quality protocols. It notes that the results will determine whether further audits are needed. In addition, the FAA will more carefully monitor in-service events concerning the 737 Max 9. It will also conduct an assessment of safety risks related to delegated authority and quality oversight. In the latter case, the agency will look into whether it makes more sense to have independent third parties oversee Boeing’s quality control and inspections.

“It is time to re-examine the delegation of authority and assess any associated safety risks,” FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement. “The grounding of the 737-9 and the multiple production-related issues identified in recent years require us to look at every option to reduce risk.” As for when the 737 Max 9 might return to service, the FAA says that timeline will be determined by “the safety of the flying public, not speed.”

There were no major injuries reported as a result of last Friday’s incident on an Alaska Airlines plane. Boeing’s 737 Max line was previously grounded for nearly two years after two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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