Airbus Steps Down from FAA’s Boeing Safety Inspection Panel

Airbus Steps Down from FAA’s Boeing Safety Inspection Panel

DALLAS – After the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the experts to review Boeing’s safety management practices, one of those named has announced they will be withdrawing from the panel.

According to Reuters, the European manufacturer, and Boeing rival Airbus will no longer participate in the process. James Tidball, Head of Certification for Airbus Americas, was set to sit on the panel. However, in a statement, Airbus said that owing to “the panel’s focus on a particular (Original Equipment Manufacturer, Tidball)… has decided to recuse himself from this working group.”

The 737 Max flight deck. Photo: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways.

Panel of Experts

The group was made up of 24 aviation engineers and experts. This included representatives from NASA, the FAA, American Airlines (AA), Southwest Airlines (WN), United Airlines (UA), FedEx Express (FX), and GE Aviation. Also on the board was MIT lecturer and aerospace engineer Javier de Luis, whose sister was killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302.

Boeing has yet to comment on the panel. But it has strongly emphasized the need for reform in its safety culture following the two 737 MAX crashes, which cost the manufacturer US$20bn and took the lives of 346 people.

Southwest (WN) is currently the world’s largest operator of the 737 Max and will sit on the panel. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways.

Max Woes

In October, the FAA asked Boeing to review the safety documents of its 737 MAX aircraft. This followed an investigation that found documents submitted with “missing and incomplete information.”

Meanwhile, Boeing is still awaiting certification of both the -7 and -10 models of the airliner, which, despite its issues, has become one of Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, amassing over 5,000 gross orders.

Featured Image: Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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