PASS on Release of Boeing 737 Max Emails

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) issued the following statement today regarding the Boeing emails released to congressional investigators:

The dedicated men and women PASS represents at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are committed public servants who work on behalf of the American public to ensure the highest standards of aviation safety. They take their jobs seriously and are acutely aware that lives are at stake if they don’t.

It was disheartening to read the internal Boeing emails released to congressional investigators, some of which were to and from FAA employees. The aviation safety inspectors PASS represents in both the Flight Standards Service and Aircraft Certification division at the agency are highly skilled and trained. Many are military veterans and pilots themselves. They maintain the utmost professionalism in their dealings with Boeing and other industry stakeholders with whom they interact.

Our workforce will continue to cooperate with the investigations taking place after the tragic accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max. While it has been a stressful time since the aircraft was grounded, these employees have continued to serve the mission of the FAA to ensure aviation safety. PASS stands behind these dedicated public servants.

Some of the emails raise concerns that PASS has raised itself. Namely, the current Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) process can unintentionally pressure decisions to move products forward that are not ready. PASS continues to believe the expansion of the ODA, which is called for in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization legislation, should be paused and is the appropriate move so that the process can be fully evaluated.

In addition, on November 26, 2019, the FAA sent a letter to Boeing essentially taking back the 737 Max certification process from the company. The agency wrote that it “has determined that the public interest and safety in air commerce require that the FAA retain authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates of airworthiness for all 737 MAX airplanes.”

PASS-represented employees stand ready to work diligently on those certificates to ensure the aircraft meet all regulatory standards.

If, as a result of the investigations, there are changes made to the aircraft certification process, PASS-represented employees will comply with those changes with expediency and transparency. The families of 346 victims deserve no less.

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