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Does the FAA Need to Ground the Boeing 737 Max 8?

Should the FAA ground the Boeing 737 Max 8?

by Countable | 3.13.19

Update - March 13, 2019, 2:45pm:

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes that were involved in two recent crashes.

"Those planes are grounded effective immediately," Trump told reporters. "Safety is our paramount concern."

Countable's earlier story appears below.


What’s the story?

  • In the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash over the weekend, countries around the world continue to ground their Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft—except for the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration.
  • The FAA is facing growing criticism for backing the jetliner, which was involved in a similar deadly crash in October in Indonesia.

What are people saying?

  • Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who’s running for president, has called for the U.S. to join the dozens of countries in grounding the aircraft.
“The Boeing 737 Max 8 is a major driver of Boeing profits. In the coming weeks and months, Congress should hold hearings on whether an administration that famously refused to stand up to Saudi Arabia to protect Boeing arms sales has once again put lives at risk for the same reason. But that is a question to be answered another day,” Warren said. “Today, immediately, the FAA needs to get these planes out of the sky.”
  • Another onetime presidential-hopeful, Mitt Romney (R-UT), agreed with his colleague across the aisle.
  • “The right thing to do is just to ground these aircraft, so that the airlines that have them would be able to adjust schedules, and make sure that other aircraft that are not the MAX aircraft that Boeing has,” Romney said.
  • President Donald Trump also took to twitter on Monday to complain that new planes “are becoming far too complex to fly.”
  • Not everyone agrees. Brian Schatz (D-HI), who sits on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said he defers to the FAA.
“It’s worrisome, but we have to defer to our experts,” Schatz said.
  • Boeing reiterated Tuesday that it continued to have faith in its airplanes and saw no reason for a grounding.
“Safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the 737 Max. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets,” Boeing said. “We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets.”

What do you think?

Should the FAA ground the Boeing 737 Max 8? Should Congress hold hearings, as Warren recommends? Do we need to defer to the “experts” at the FAA, as Schatz advises? Take action above and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Creative Commons)

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