The Federal Aviation Administration said late Wednesday that its regulators, not Boeing (BA) employees, would inspect specific 787 Dreamliners before they enter service. Boeing stock fell.
Boeing had been responsible for the basic final safety checks needed to issue an airworthiness certificate before delivery. But FAA said it would now be responsible for the checks for four 787 Dreamlines as Boeing deals with production issues.
“The FAA is taking a number of corrective actions to address Boeing 787 production issues,” the FAA said in a statement. “One of the actions is retaining the authority to issue airworthiness certificates for four 787 aircraft. The FAA can retain the authority to issue airworthiness certificates for additional 787 aircraft if we see the need.”
The FAA’s move is similar to what it did in 2019 with the 737 Max after two fatal crashes, which raised scrutiny on the regulator’s earlier practice of delegating certain safety and oversight functions to Boeing.
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Shares fell 0.7% to 261.64 on the stock market today. Boeing stock is still extended beyond buy range after clearing a 244.18 entry, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. Key supplier Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) dropped 1.4%, and engine supplier General Electric (GE) lost 1.1%.
Boeing has more than 80 787 Dreamliners awaiting delivery, according to Ascend data cited by the Wall Street Journal. United Airlines (UAL) is due to receive two of them in late March or early April, sources told the Journal.
The aerospace giant stopped deliveries in October as it looked to deal with quality control issues that included excessive gaps in the vertical tail fin that could cause strain on the structure of the plane and shims that were the incorrect size.
Boeing’s manufacturing processes came under fire after two deadly 737 Max crashes led to a 20-month grounding. Investigations into Boeing’s certification process further exposed a toxic work culture, and warnings from some employees said overworked factory staff were making mistakes.
Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter for aviation news and more.
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