Recently, Alaska Airlines said that preliminary inspections had started on several of its Boeing 737-9 MAX aircraft, with the possibility of up to forty planes undergoing the process.
Reports indicate that the airline has begun reviewing Boeing’s quality of production and control systems and the company’s monitoring of its production vendors. The airline has pledged to add quality control measures to the airplane’s manufacturing process.
According to the airline, the CEO and top executives of Boeing had an open and frank discussion with Alaska Airlines earlier this month on quality improvement strategies to guarantee that Alaska Airlines only receives the best aircraft from Boeing.
The airline has said that further data is needed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to accept the airline manufacturer’s planned inspections and the maintenance instructions for safely resuming operation of the 737-9 MAX.
Following the mid-flight detachment of a cabin panel from a new aircraft, the FAA has declared that it would increase monitoring of Boeing and has prolonged the indefinite suspension of Boeing 737 MAX 9 flights for further safety tests.
Because of the grounding and the growing problem at the U.S. planemaker, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines had to halt several hundred flights in the span of a week.
Reports show a total of 171 aircraft sharing the same design as the affected airliner have been grounded indefinitely for the protection of American passengers, according to the FAA. The regulator had promised to remove the grounding after they were examined. However, they later said further work was required for the scheduled examinations.
The FAA formerly delegated some responsibilities for verifying the safety of newly manufactured aircraft to Boeing, but under more rigorous oversight, the regulator will conduct audits of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 manufacturing suppliers and could look into having an independent organization take over these responsibilities.
Boeing vowed to collaborate completely and openly with the regulator. They are actively working to improve manufacturing system-wide and fully endorse any measures that do so.
When asked about the FAA’s production and manufacturing methods audit, Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems said it is dedicated to helping the audit.