The incident comes amid heightened safety inspections of Boeing aircraft after part of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 jet’s fuselage blew out mid-flight earlier this month. Alaska and United Airlines have since said that they’ve found loose bolts and other installation issues with the model, which has been grounded by the FAA since the Jan. 5 scare.
“We don’t put planes in the air that we don’t have 100% confidence in,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told reporters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, according to Reuters. Calhoun plans to meet with U.S. senators on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the 737 Max 9 jets’ grounding, Reuters and Bloomberg reported. A Boeing representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.
FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker, in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, vowed that the agency will have “boots on the ground” inspecting Boeing’s planes until its confidence is restored.
“We’re shifting from more of an audit approach to a direct inspection approach,” he said. The agency will keep checking Boeing planes until “we’re comfortable that the [quality assurance] system is working properly,” he added.