Boeing To Pay $17m FAA Settlement Over 737 Problems

The FAA has slapped Boeing with a $17 million penalty over two issues with select Boeing 737 aircraft. While this is lower than the proposed penalties of $19.7 million and $5.4 million for each issue, the FAA reserved the right to issue up to $10.1 million in additional fines if the issues aren’t fixed within a specific timeframe. Let’s find out more.

Boeing 737 MAX 9
Boeing has come under stringent FAA scrutiny following the crash of the 737 MAX, which revealed several issues in the regulatory process. Photo: Boeing

Settled

In a statement today, the FAA announced Boeing’s decision to settle two outstanding cases regarding the 737 family. In total, Boeing will pay $17 million in penalties to settle the charges and is required to correct the issues with a specific timeframe. Failure to correct will result in up to $10.1 million in further fines.

boeing-737-max
Boeing has been tackling a myriad of charges from the FAA in the last few years. Photo: Boeing

In addition to the fines, Boeing must also change its production process to allow the FAA to oversee production rate readiness in the future. This would in addition to a host of changes needed to Boeing’s supply-chain oversight and risk management.

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Two issues

The first issue has to do with a Rockwell Collins Head-up Guidance Systems installed on 791 aircraft: 618 737NGs and 173 737 MAXs. The FAA has said that the sensors installed with these systems were not tested or approved for being used with the guidance system.

However, Boeing went on to certify these as airworthy despite the lack of approval of the sensors. The FAA originally proposed a $19.68 million fine for the issue but has since settled for a lower amount.

Boeing 737-800 Cockpit
The sensors connected to a heads-up guidance system were not approved on 791 planes, according to the FAA. Photo: Eric Salard via Wikimedia Commons

The second issue has to do installation of nonconforming slat tracks on hundreds of Boeing 737 MAXs. The FAA alleged that Boeing had certified 178 MAXs as being airworthy despite knowing that they potentially had faulty slat tracks. You can read more about the complaint here.

The FAA proposed a fine of $5.4 million on Boeing for failing to oversee its suppliers and ensure quality control. Considering that hundreds of parts of any Boeing aircraft are outsourced, quality control is critical.

Issues continue

Despite the ungrounding of the 737 MAX last November, Boeing continues to be under the FAA’s strict scrutiny. The aerospace giant was already paid billions in fines over the last two years, including a $2.5 billion fine for the 737 MAX fraud conspiracy. However, new issues continue to crop up, especially with the newest 737s and 787s.

Boeing has been tackling issues with the popular 787 lineups as well, which has slowed down deliveries. Photo: Boeing

However, there has been some good news as well. The company has ungrounded 109 MAX 8s and 9s following an electrical wiring fix on the jets. For now, the aerospace giant is trying to quickly work through a myriad of issues that have cropped up. All of these will be crucial to restoring Boeing’s once-sterling safety reputation.

What do you think about Boeing’s FAA settlements? Let us know in the comments!

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