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Audit Initiated of FAA's Oversight of Boeing 737 MAX Return to Service

Requested by Secretary Elaine Chao; the Chairmen of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and its Aviation Subcommittee; the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee; and Senator Blumenthal

On March 13, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a grounding order for the Boeing 737 MAX fleet after two accidents involving 737 MAX 8 aircraft raised significant safety concerns. At the request of the former Secretary of Transportation and members of Congress, our office has undertaken a series of reviews related to FAA’s certification of the 737 MAX 8 and its safety oversight. In this review—our third in the series— we will examine FAA’s actions following the two accidents, including FAA’s risk assessments, the grounding of the aircraft, and its subsequent recertification in November 2020. Accordingly, our objective is to evaluate FAA’s processes and procedures for grounding aircraft and implementing corrective actions, including for the Boeing 737 MAX.