MIAMI – Boeing has named seasoned engineering executive Mike Delaney as its Chief Aerospace Safety Officer, adding a new senior management position. The move comes in the wake of the Boeing 737 MAX-8’s faulty systems causing two fatal accidents.

The aircraft, which was touted as the future of the 737 aircraft family, was finally re-certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in late 2020.

Major airlines, including Southwest (WN) and American Airlines (AA), have begun reintroducing the previously grounded aircraft back into their fleets. The new position was created just weeks on from a multi-billion dollar settlement with the US Justice Department.

“Mike will lead the development of the company’s integrated enterprise Global Aviation Safety program, which encompasses Product & Services Safety (P&SS), Confident Travel Initiative, Aerospace Safety Analytics and Global Aviation Safety System”, said Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun in an official statement. Calhoun continued to state how this addition “align[s] critical safety components together.”

Mike Delaney and Reed Doucette AFA Summit Fireside Chat in 2017

A Seasoned Leader

Mike Delaney has served Boeing for over 30 years, and assumes this new role after a stint as VP of Airplane Development. He began his career with McDonnell-Douglas working on the Boeing 717 project, and became a senior flight test manager after the two companies merged in 1997. He has held leadership positions in engineering and aircraft development, and was a critical member of the 787 program. In his new position, Delaney also becomes a member of the Boeing executive board.

The new Chief of Safety has been widely outspoken about the Boeing 737 MAX-8’s return-to-service plan and the COVID-19 pandemic, and hopes to ease potential concerns passengers. “Air travel is coming back”, Delaney said in April 2020. “As that happens, we want passengers and crews to board Boeing airplanes without hesitation.”

Featured Image: Boeing 777X in house colors. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways