The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it was increasing oversight of Boeing and would conduct an audit of the 737 Max 9 production line a week after a body panel on one of the planes exploded during flight.
The audit of Max 9 production will evaluate whether Boeing and its suppliers complied with approved practices. The agency also said it would take a closer look at the Max 9 problems and investigate safety risks associated with delegating some oversight to authorized Boeing employees, a practice that drew criticism after two crashes of 737 Max 8 planes that killed to a total of 346 people. people.
“It is time to reexamine the delegation of authority and evaluate any associated security risks,” agency Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement. “The grounding of the 737-9 and the multiple production-related issues identified in recent years require us to explore all options to reduce risk.
He added that the agency was exploring using an independent third party to oversee Boeing’s inspections and its quality system.