Boeing Commercial Airplanes agreed to pay a $12-million fine and committed to maintain more stringent maintenance and record-keeping procedures in a five-year settlement agreement with the U.S. Dept. of Treasury’s Federal Aviation Administration. The agreement takes effect on January 1, 2016.
The settlement stems from the FAA’s frustration over Boeing’s delayed delivery of information about the installation of equipment intended to reduce the possibility of fuel-tank fires on Boeing 747 and 757 aircraft.
Another case FAA launched involved insufficient corrective action by Boeing after it discovered that a supplier had been providing misshaped fasteners for the 777 aircraft. The agency also noted it had launched investigations on 11 other matters involving Boeing over the past several years.
FAA made it clear it has not alleged that none of these issues had created unsafe conditions on the aircraft in discussion.
“It is imperative that everyone complies with our aviation system’s high safety standards,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This agreement is an important step toward ensuring that Boeing fully meets all applicable compliance standards going forward.”
In addition to the fine, Boeing agreed to implement a list of corrective steps to improving auditing of internal processes, scrutinize suppliers more closely, and provide reports to the FAA more quickly. “We are actively working on the areas identified in the agreement,” it said in a statement.
FAA’s top official, Michael Huerta, commented that Boeing “agreed to implement improvements in its design, planning, production and maintenance planning processes, and has already implemented several of these improvements.”
The settlement agreement stipulates that Boeing will face fines up to $24 million over the next five years if it fails to implement the obligations laid out in the agreement.
In its comment on the settlement, Boeing stated it “believes that this agreement not only fairly resolves announced and potential civil penalty actions—most of which date back years, and two of which were previously announced in 2012 and 2013—but also will further enhance Boeing’s self-correcting quality and compliance systems.”