Europe’s aviation watchdog appeared to ignore warnings about the integrity of safety checks carried out on Boeing aircraft by its American counterpart months after the company launched its ill-fated 737 Max programme.
A 2012 report by a special US government investigator disclosed concerns among Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) staff that their managers had “too close a relationship with Boeing officials” and that they would “retaliate against them for attempting to hold Boeing accountable”.
The report was not considered by the board of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (Easa), records of its meetings suggest. Under a co-operation agreement between Easa and the FAA, aircraft that are certified as safe by one agency are effectively rubber-stamped by the other, often with little further checking. Easa certifies safety on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority and is expected to continue to do so after Brexit.
The finding is part of an investigation by The Times into the relationship between Easa, the FAA, Boeing and Airbus. After two crashes of the Boeing 737 Max, which killed a total of 346 people, concerns have been raised that the FAA delegated too much of the safety certification process to Boeing and that Easa’s arrangement with the FAA allowed an apparently faulty aircraft to go into use. (end of excerpt)
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