New FAA report highlights ‘disconnect’ at Boeing surrounding safety culture

A new report commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration identified a long list of issues surrounding Boeing’s approach to safety.

According to the panel of experts that weighed in on the report, there is “a disconnect between Boeing’s senior management and other members of the organization on safety culture.”

It also went on to state that despite improvements to systems that allow employees to internally report issues, there are still “opportunities for retaliation to occur, particularly with regards to salary and furlough ranking.”

KIRO 7 spoke to one former Boeing employee last week, who echoed that sentiment, claiming he had been targeted by the company after raising concerns that seats in 737s were not being bolted down correctly.

The FAA report released this week laid out a series of over 50 recommendations for Boeing to enact, while pushing for the company to “develop an action plan ... that comprehensively addresses each recommendation.”

In a statement on the report, Boeing said that they “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.”

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell issued a statement on the report as well, saying the following:

“Congress commissioned the Expert Panel’s report as part of the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act to hold Boeing accountable for improving the safety culture of its Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) unit. The report makes clear that Boeing’s safety culture and SMS need to improve, and FAA should hold them accountable in doing so. The FAA and manufacturers should listen to both Machinists and SPEEA who are asking for a stronger safety culture to improve certification and production quality.”