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FAA panel finds 'gaps' in Boeing's safety culture: 'Inadequate and confusing'
JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

FAA panel finds 'gaps' in Boeing's safety culture: 'Inadequate and confusing'

An expert review panel observed "gaps" in Boeing's safety culture, according to a report released Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA's expert panel members recently completed an extensive review of the design and production of Boeing's airplanes after a door panel blew out during an Alaska Airlines flight last month. The report found "a disconnection between Boeing's senior management and other members of the organization on safety culture." Panel experts expressed concerns that the company's reporting systems failed to encourage "open communication," potentially causing retaliation fears.

"The Expert Panel also observed inadequate and confusing implementation of the five components of a positive safety culture," the report stated. Boeing's five safety-culture components include: "Reporting Culture, Just Culture, Flexible Culture, Learning Culture, and Informed Culture."

The report revealed "gaps" in Boeing's safety, including "a lack of awareness of safety-related metrics at all levels of the organization."

The company was advised to review the panel's recommendations "and develop an action plan" within six months.

Boeing responded to the report's release by thanking the panel.

"We've taken important steps to foster a safety culture that empowers and encourages all employees to share their voice. But there is more work to do," the company stated. "We will carefully review the panel's assessment and learn from their findings, as we continue our comprehensive efforts to improve our safety and quality programs."

The FAA appointed the expert panel early last year. The agency noted that it "will immediately begin a thorough review of the report and determine next steps regarding the recommendations as appropriate."

"We will continue to hold Boeing to the highest standard of safety and will work to ensure the company comprehensively addresses these recommendations," the FAA added.

Last month's mid-air blowout prompted Boeing to reshuffle its management team. Blaze News previously reported that as a result of the shake-up, Ed Clark, the head of the company's 737 Max program, was replaced.

A United States National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report found that the plane involved in the incident may have left the Boeing factory, overseen by Clark, without key bolts to secure the emergency door panel.

Boeing's investors have since lodged a lawsuit against the company, claiming that its "serious safety lapses" and "poor quality control" measures caused a dip in stock prices.

Reuters reported that Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun is scheduled to meet with FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker on Tuesday to review his recent visit to the company's 737 factory.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →