Boeing 737 MAX, US Shutdown and the FAA under Trump

A year later, in an era of unprecedented aviation security, two new Boeing 737 Max planes have crashed in just five months, killing nearly 350 people, and shining a spotlight on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US regulator that sets the standard for airline safety around the world and certifies plane design at Boeing, the world’s largest manufacturer of jet planes.

Like many US federal agencies under Trump, the FAA isn’t operating under optimal conditions to deal with a big issue like the two Boeing crashes. It hasn’t had a permanent top official for 14 months, the White House pushed gutting its employees and trimming budgets for two years in a row, and the recent government shutdown delayed officials’ approval of safety upgrades.

The Boeing 737 MAX was born out of fierce competition with European Airbus, the aviation market and major airliners due to renew their fleet wanted a more fuel-efficient aircraft at current technology-price.  This Clip from The Air Current explains airplane development at Boeing for the 737 Max:

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The President puts it this way on Twitter:

Shortly after this tweet, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg in a phone conversation reassured President Donald Trump that the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is safe, the company confirmed. Muilenburg’s reassurance is something that past presidents might have looked to the FAA to do.

The White House has floated the idea of Trump’s personal pilot since 1989, John Dunkin, to head the $17.5 billion budget, 45,000-person agency; Congress members pushed back, suggesting his lack of appropriate experience meant he’d never be confirmed.


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