Less than 6 months after the same Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane crashed in the Java Sea, this weekend’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people has sparked serious concern over the aircraft’s safety. Managing Partner Mike Slack spoke with USA Today and is featured in two separate articles on how these concerns are being addressed by Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Slack believes that all U.S. airlines should ground the 737 MAX 8 model until more is known about the crash, instead of taking a gamble and continuing to operate. He points out, “do you really want to put the traveling public in a position where they’re having to make travel decisions based upon the fact that neither the regulators nor the airlines have opted to ground these aircrafts?”
Having two fatal crashes in such short succession on a new type of aircraft is unprecedented. “It’s a hard decision for regulators because they are going to get lobbied by the airlines not to do it. It’s a hard decision for the airlines because they’re going to lose revenues. But at what point does the safety of the traveling public come ahead of that?” Slack expressed.
The NTSB and FAA are working together to investigate what caused the crash, but many officials believe it is in the best interest of passenger safety to ground all 737 MAX 8 models. Each country’s civil aviation authority has its own authority to ground planes, but the FAA has tremendous global influence, and a decision to ground in the U.S. would likely mean the grounding of this plane model worldwide.