Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun held meetings with several U.S. senators on Capitol Hill in response to the increasing scrutiny faced by the company’s leadership. Speaking to reporters, Calhoun expressed his commitment to transparency and stated that he was present to address any questions the senators may have had. According to sources familiar with the matter, the meetings were organized at Calhoun’s request.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded Boeing’s 737 Max 9 planes after a door plug malfunctioned on January 5 during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. The incident, which occurred during ascent, resulted in a force so powerful that it caused the ejection of headrests and seatbacks. Currently, the FAA is reviewing data from early inspections of the planes before it can provide safety review instructions that would enable the planes to resume service. FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker, in an interview with CNBC, expressed uncertainties regarding the timeline for this process, emphasizing the need for thoroughness before granting approval.

Senator Dan Sullivan from Alaska, following his meeting with Calhoun, emphasized the importance of proactive airline safety measures. Sullivan stated that the Senate is exploring actions to address airline safety within the FAA reauthorization bill. He emphasized the need to move beyond reactive measures and stressed the urgency of passing the FAA reauthorization bill to ensure proactive safety regulations.

The Seattle Times recently reported that the fuselage panel responsible for the incident, manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems, had been removed for repair and subsequently improperly reinstalled by Boeing mechanics rather than by Spirit. When questioned about the report, both Calhoun and Boeing declined to comment due to an ongoing federal investigation. Boeing referred to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as the appropriate authority to provide information regarding the investigation. There has been no response from the NTSB at the time of writing.

Following the report by The Seattle Times, shares of Spirit AeroSystems experienced a 6% increase in value. In contrast, the stock had previously dropped over 10% since the door plug incident on January 5. Boeing’s stock, on the other hand, saw a 2% rise on Wednesday, although it had also declined by over 10% following the incident.

Boeing’s CEO engaging with U.S. senators showcases a commitment to transparency amidst mounting scrutiny. The grounding of the 737 Max 9 planes and the subsequent review process by the FAA reflect the gravity of the incident and the importance of ensuring thorough safety measures. The Senate’s focus on proactive airline safety is a step towards preventing future incidents, and ongoing investigations into the incident’s cause by both the NTSB and federal authorities will provide essential insights into rectifying the situation. The impact on the market highlights the economic consequences faced by both Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems as they navigate the aftermath of the incident. As the investigation unfolds, it is crucial for all stakeholders to prioritize safety and work towards restoring confidence in the safety of Boeing’s aircraft.


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