Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Boeing announces changes to safety processes as 737 MAX prepared for service return

US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing will take several immediate actions to strengthen its commitment to product and services safety, according to chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

Recommendations from the company’s Committee on Airplane Policies and Processes focused on further improving safety throughout the company and the broader aerospace ecosystem, said Muilenburg.

“Safety is at the core of who we are at Boeing, and the recent 737 MAX accidents will always weigh heavily on us. They have reminded us again of the importance of our work and have only intensified our commitment to continuously improve the safety of our products and services,” he added.

In addition to the previously announced permanent Aerospace Safety Committee, Muilenburg shared that Boeing is standing up a new Product and Services Safety organization that will further strengthen the company’s safety-first focus.

“This organization will unify safety-related responsibilities currently managed by teams across several Boeing business and operating units,” said the company in a statement September 30.

The company also is establishing a design requirements program to strengthen a culture of continuous improvement, learning and innovation; enhancing the continued operation safety program to raise visibility and transparency of all safety and potential safety reports; partnering with commercial and defense customers, and other stakeholders, to ensure flight deck designs continue to anticipate the needs of future pilot populations; and expanding the role and reach of the company’s Safety Promotion Center to reinforce Boeing’s long-standing safety culture.

Muilenburg also announced further steps Boeing is taking to strengthen how it manages safety across the company and its supply chain, in partnership with others across the aerospace community.

These include expanding company-wide use of a comprehensive safety management system and safety review boards to standardize safety policy and objectives, share best practices, manage risk, assess performance, increase visibility and further strengthen the company’s safety culture.

An anonymous reporting system is encouraging employees to bring forward potential safety issues that will be reviewed by the Product and Services Safety organization. Also, safety review boards have been expanded and are now led by senior company leadership.

Additionally, investments in enhanced flight simulation and computing capabilities have increased the company’s ability to proactively test a wide range of scenarios, resulting in improved product safety.

For example, over the past several weeks, software engineers have run 390,000 flight hours on the 737 MAX—the equivalent of flying 45 years. Advanced R&D efforts in future flight decks also are underway, leveraging leading-edge work in human factors science and design.

“Ensuring the safety of the flying public, pilots and crew is our top priority as we work to return the 737 MAX to service,” Muilenburg continued. “We’ll keep learning from the recent accidents, share what we learn with the broader aviation community, and emerge better and stronger as a company and industry.”

The actions follow recent recommendations from the Boeing board of directors that were the result of a five-month independent review of the company’s policies and processes following the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 737 MAX accidents, both of which led to the death of all passengers and crew on board the flights.

Boeing will release its financial results for the third quarter of 2019 on October 23.

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