Boeing Creates New Aerospace Safety Committee Reaffirming Its Commitment To Safety

Boss of Boeing Dennis Muilenburg announced today (25/09/19) the coming together of yet another committee. The new Aerospace Safety Committee will be a permanent fixture at Boeing. It will be tasked to ensure the company’s products and services are of optimal safeness.

Boeing MAX-7 roll-out
Boeing’s new safety committee is ready to take on the MAX, et al. Photo: Boeing

In today’s press release, a Boeing spokesperson said the new committee’s primary responsibility will be to, “oversee and ensure the safe design, development, manufacture, production, operation, maintenance and delivery of the company’s aerospace products and services.”

Following the FAA’s grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX earlier this year, customers of Boeing have demanded reassurance of the safety of the manufacturer’s products. Furthermore, regulators and law makers have been keen to scrutinize Boeing’s overall credibility.

The manufacturer’s board of directors has thus been obliged to take measures to bolster support for its products. The MAX was grounded in March after 346 people died in two crashes of the type.

Committees: a Boeing MO

The recommendations from the Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes set up in April are various. In addition to the forging of the new safety committee, the board was urged to:

  • Restructure the company’s internal reporting lines to ensure cleaner channels of communication. By doing so, potential safety concerns of design engineers may be more readily chewed over by the executive.
  • Ensure the company’s executive works more closely with its engineers.
  • Create an ethos of information gathering and sharing (and avoid conflicts of interest between departments).
Boeing Utah
Boeing’s Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes made several recommendations. Photo: Boeing

In line with the recommendations, Boeing’s board approved the creation of the new Aerospace Safety Committee last month. The committee sees the coming together of retired admiral Edmund Giambastiani, Jr., utility boss Lynn Good and Continental’s top man Lawrence Kellner.

Writes Boeing, the committee’s team has, “extensive experience leading companies and organizations in regulated industries and government entities where safety is paramount.”

Flight deck design

Boeing’s Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes also highlighted a need for the company to look at flight deck design and operations.

On this point, the recommendation is that Boeing works in closer partnership with its customers. A collaborative re-examining of cockpit and instrument design appears to be an important developmental consideration.

Additionally, the committee told the board that the airline would benefit from, “general pilot training above and beyond those recommended in a traditional training program – for all commercial aircraft manufactured by the company.”

Lion Air MAX jet in flight
Boeing’s commitment to safety may not be enough to allay customers’ fears. Photo: Boeing

“Commitment to safety”

Boeing says its acting on the recommendations already received prove beyond doubt a commitment to safety.

Of the new Aerospace Safety Committee, Giambastiani said he hopes its creation will, “ensure the highest levels of safety in Boeing airplanes and aerospace products and services and for all who fly on Boeing airplanes.”

The safety of the global aviation industry is rooted in its dedication to continuous improvement and learning,” he added.

However, it remains to be seen whether the new committee will have any meaningful upturning effect on Boeing’s current woes. In addition, it will be interesting to see whether the presence of the committee alone can sufficiently allay industry concerns about the safety of Boeing’s products.

We have contacted Boeing for a statement but have so far received no reply.