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Boeing CEO to address safety at US Senate hearing

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will be on Capitol Hill on June 18, 2024 to talk about safety issues at the planemaker
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun will be on Capitol Hill on June 18, 2024 to talk about safety issues at the planemaker.

Boeing's outgoing CEO Dave Calhoun will testify before a US Senate panel later this month to answer questions about safety and production issues at the aircraft manufacturer, the company said Wednesday.

The June 18 appearance in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations follows an April hearing, in which four whistleblowers alleged there was safety problems in the production of three of the four commercial planes currently produced by Boeing—the 737 MAX, the 787 Dreamliner and the 777.

"I look forward to Mr. Calhoun's testimony, which is a necessary step in meaningfully addressing Boeing's failures, regaining public trust, and restoring the company's central role in the American economy and national defense," said Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the subcommittee.

In a statement to AFP, Boeing said it welcomed the opportunity to appear in front of the panel "to share the actions we have taken, and will continue to take, to strengthen safety and quality and ensure that commercial air travel remains the safest form of transportation."

The company came under intense scrutiny in January in the wake of a near-disastrous Alaska Airlines flight, in which a 737 MAX was forced to make an emergency landing after a fuselage panel blew out in mid-flight.

The incident revived major questions around Boeing's safety practices that had initially arisen following two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019, but which had subsided following a lengthy grounding of the 737 MAX.

A probe by the US Federal Aviation Administration has identified "non-compliance" issues in Boeing's manufacturing process.

The mid-air emergency prompted the regulator to put a stop to the expansion of 737 MAX production.

On May 30, the company submitted a government-mandated "comprehensive action plan" to address the safety issues.

It is also in the midst of an executive search after announcing on March 25 that Calhoun would step down as CEO at the end of 2024, part of a leadership shakeup that also replaced the head of commercial plane production and the chair of the board of directors.

© 2024 AFP

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