Buttigieg urges Boeing to cooperate with investigation

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has urged Boeing to collaborate with government investigations following a series of incidents that have raised concerns about the safety of its aircraft.

According to The Associated Press, Buttigieg expressed his respect for the independence of the Department of Justice and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in conducting their own investigations. However, he emphasized that the Biden administration is not neutral on the issue of Boeing’s cooperation. Buttigieg stated that Boeing should fully cooperate with any entity, including the NTSB, the Department of Justice, or the administration itself. He further emphasized that they expect Boeing to fulfill this expectation.

The Justice Department has initiated a criminal investigation into an incident that took place in January. During an Alaska Airlines flight, the door panel of a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft suddenly detached, causing a significant hole in the side of the plane. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report this development. Prior to this, the company had stated that it was unable to find the records requested by the National Transportation Safety Board for their investigation into the door panel, which was manufactured by the Boeing factory.

According to the AP, Buttigieg has expressed the view that Boeing needs to undergo a significant overhaul in terms of their responsiveness, culture, and quality issues.

Boeing has stated in an email to The Hill that they will fully cooperate and maintain transparency in all government investigations and audits. They are committed to taking comprehensive measures to enhance safety and quality within the company.

Boeing recently announced its ongoing discussions to repurchase Spirit AeroSystems, a manufacturer that was involved in the incident on an Alaska Airlines flight. Spirit AeroSystems was responsible for producing the fuselage and door plug, which experienced a blowout during the incident.

According to the AP, the manufacturer separated from Boeing in 2005.

In a statement, Boeing confirmed that they have been collaborating closely with Spirit AeroSystems and its leadership to enhance the quality of the commercial airplanes they jointly manufacture. As a result of this collaboration, preliminary discussions have taken place regarding the possibility of Spirit AeroSystems becoming a part of Boeing once again.

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