Boeing MAX crash relatives back Biden aviation nominee

A group of relatives of those killed in a fatal 2019 Boeing 737 MAX crash endorsed U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The nominee, Denver International Airport Chief Executive Officer Phil Washington, has come under fire from Republicans who question if he has the required aviation experience needed for the job, while the Transportation Department says Washington is fully qualified.


The Senate Commerce Committee is set to vote on Wednesday on Washington to serve as top U.S. aviation regulator as the agency faces questions after a series of close-call safety incidents. “FAA needs an outsider who can step into leadership vacuums, transform complex organizations, and resist the aviation swamp pressures toward mediocrity and malaise,” said a letter on Monday signed by eight relatives of those killed in the March 2019 Ethiopian Airlines MAX crash.


Two MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 killed 346 people, cost Boeing more than $20 billion, led to a 20-month grounding for the best-selling plane and prompted Congress to pass sweeping legislation reforming airplane certification. “The next FAA administrator must lead the effort to fully implement these key safety reforms,” the letter said. Boeing did not immediately comment.

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Commerce Committee chair Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, said it is imperative that the next FAA administrator commit to fully implementing safety reforms and hold Boeing accountable. “We feel that industry and FAA got too cozy,” Cantwell said. Washington has vowed to accelerate implementation of safety reforms.

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Source: Reuters

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