Embattled US aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing said Monday it is taking enhanced measures including the creation of a new unit to elevate its safety focus upon recommendations by its board of directors, CGTN.com reported.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the new Product and Services Safety organization will be led by Beth Pasztor, who is a 34-year Boeing veteran that previously served as vice president of safety, security and compliance for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where she was responsible for integrating product safety and regulatory compliance actions and initiative.
The team will review “all aspects of product safety, including investigating cases of undue pressure and anonymous product and service safety concerns raised by employees,” Muilenburg said.
Pasztor will also oversee Boeing’s accident investigation team, safety review boards and its “Organization Designation Authorization,” the company’s engineering and technical experts representing the Federal Aviation Administration in airplane certification activities, the report said.
She will report to the Aerospace Safety Committee of the company’s board of directors and Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief engineer and senior vice president of Engineering, Test and Technology.
Muilenburg said the Boeing actions followed a series of recommendations from its board of directors that emerged from a five-month review of company’s policies and processes for airplane design and development by a specially appointed committee.
“These changes will enhance our team and amplify our focus on safety, while benefiting our customers and operational performance, and intensify our focus on learning, tools and talent development across the company,” he said.
He noted that the company will take further steps to manage companywide safety and its supply chain, invest in people, work with other partners in the industry and improve global aviation safety.
Boeing is facing several investigations about the design of its best-selling 737 MAX jets, which were involved in a pair of crashes that killed 346 people.
Investigators found a flight-control software on Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft was linked to the two disasters, where Indonesia’s Lion Air Flight 610 went down in October last year killing 189 people, and an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed in March this year shortly after takeoff, leaving 157 passengers and crews dead.
According to the Washington Post, the impact of the grounding on Boeing and its partners has been profound. Boeing lost US$3.38 billion in its most recent quarter, the worst financial results in company history.
Airlines have felt the pinch, too. The three airlines that had MAX jets at the time they were grounded ― American Airlines, Southwest and United ― have been forced to cancel thousands of flights as a result of the crisis.
Even if the jets are allowed to fly again soon, Boeing will still face the challenge of convincing the public that its jets are safe to fly. A market survey released in early May by Barclays investment bank found that a large portion of the customer base would avoid the MAX jets for an extended period of time after the grounding order is lifted.