Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the Federal Aviation Administration to remove Boeing from a federal airline advisory group while the investigation continues into fatal crashes involving two of its jetliners.
“It makes no sense for Boeing — or any company for that matter — to be involved in an active investigation surrounding questions of safety while also retaining ‘membership’ on a federal committee that recommends airline industry regulations,” the New York Democrat said on Sunday.
“That is why I am demanding the FAA both suspend Boeing from this committee and any others until the formal investigation has ended, and to also answer serious questions I have raised,” he continued.
In a letter to acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell, Schumer demanded more transparency about Boeing’s role in the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee, which is overseen by the FAA.
Citing the safety issues surrounding Boeing, Schumer wants the FAA to suspend or update the public on the company’s membership on the board, release publicly all other members of the board and commit to reforming the committee’s selection process.
He urged the FAA to do better at providing online access to information about the committee and any others that influence the airline industry.
“For example, reports indicate that ARAC has recommended striking at least 300 FAA regulations. These suggestions are not posted online and an update on where they presently exist in the regulatory queue is unavailable for easy access,” Schumer said in the letter.
Two Boeing 737 Max 8 jets – Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airline Flight 302 – both crashed within the past five months.
The Lion Air flight went down in October 2018, killing all 189 passengers and crew.
The Ethiopian Airlines craft plummeted to the ground on March 10, killing all 157 people on board.
Since then, hundreds of Boeing 737 Max 8 jets have been grounded worldwide as investigators try to determine the cause of the crashes.