Boeing: DoJ begins investigation as FAA gives 90-day deadline for safety plan

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is giving Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan to fix quality problems and meet safety standards for building new planes, as the justice department reportedly reviews whether a mid-flight plane door panel blowout in January violated a previous settlement agreement between the company and the US government.

The FAA said on Wednesday that the directive follows meetings with top Boeing officials, including the company’s chief executive at FAA headquarters in Washington.

“Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements,” said the FAA administrator, Mike Whitaker. “Making foundational change will require a sustained effort from Boeing’s leadership, and we are going to hold them accountable every step of the way.”

The FAA said the new deadline comes after Whitaker met with Boeing’s chief executive, David Calhoun, and other top company officials.

The FAA is currently completing an audit of assembly lines at the factory near Seattle, where Boeing builds planes such as the 737 Max 9 that suffered a door-panel blowout in January. Investigators say bolts that help keep the panel in place were missing after repair work was done on the Alaska Airlines jet at the Boeing factory.

Meanwhile, the justice department is scrutinizing whether the January door incident violated a $2.5bn deferred-prosecution agreement from 2021 that allowed Boeing to resolve criminal charges in the wake of two deadly plane crashes, Bloomberg and the New York Times reported.

Two Boeing 737 Max plane crashes, on flights in Indonesia and Ethiopia, left a total of 346 people dead.

Boeing, based in Arlington, Virginia, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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