United Airlines Faces Closer F.A.A. Scrutiny After Safety Incidents

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United Airlines Faces Closer F.A.A. Scrutiny After Safety Incidents


The Federal Aviation Administration will take a closer look at United Airlines’ flight operations in the coming weeks following a spate of recent safety incidents, the airline told employees in a memo Friday.

“We will see a greater FAA presence in our operations as it begins to review some of our work processes, manuals and facilities,” Sasha Johnson, vice president of corporate safety at the airline, said in the memo. “We welcome their engagement and are very open to hearing from them about what they find and how they see the things we may need to change to make us even safer.”

In some of the incidents, which United said were unrelated, one plane went off the runway, another arrived at its destination with a body panel missing, another lost a tire after takeoff and an engine caught fire , after swallowing plastic wrap.

The FAA said in a statement Friday that it monitors flight operations “on a routine basis.” The agency said it “focuses on an airline’s compliance with applicable regulations; Ability to identify hazards, assess and mitigate risks; and manage security effectively.”

In the United memo, Ms. Johnson said the agency “will also pause various certification activities for a period of time.” The FAA said in a statement Saturday that certification processes already underway may continue, but future ones could be delayed depending on findings. The agency monitors and approves a variety of airline activities, such as pilot training and new flight routes.

United Chief Executive Scott Kirby sought to reassure customers this week that the airline was taking safety seriously following the incidents.

“I want you to know that these incidents have caught our attention and sharpened our focus,” he said in an email to clients. “Our team reviews the details of each case to understand what happened and uses these findings to inform our safety training and procedures for all employee groups.”

Experts warn against drawing blanket conclusions from the worrying aviation incidents that often go unreported.



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2024-03-23 21:45:28

www.nytimes.com