After a 20-month ban, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has lifted the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max 8, but Boeing will still have to face numerous hurdles including ongoing government investigations to correct its missteps. In an interview with Law360, Dallas Managing Partner Ladd Sanger shared his thoughts on the steps the FAA took to clear the aircraft, as well as the systemic issues still plaguing the FAA.
“I’m glad to see the FAA was so proactive on this, because we have seen, in my business, things which are dangerous that the FAA hasn’t acted on, hasn’t grounded the aircraft, hasn’t required a significant alteration of the aircraft design and just reverted back to, ‘Oh, let’s solve the problem with additional training,” said Sanger. “That’s a Band-Aid, not a solution.”
Sanger continues by pointing out that despite these efforts there needs to be proper checks and balances in the FAA’s Organization Designation Authorization.
“The systemic root of the problem is the delegated authority where an employee of the manufacturer can put on the FAA hat and sign off on design and airworthiness,” Sanger said. “It is inherently replete with conflict. If the person’s paycheck is getting signed by the manufacturer who wants to get the product certified, that’s not independent. It is the fox guarding the hen house.”
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