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Boeing Mulls Reporting Changes, Safety Panel After Max Crashes

Aug. 30, 2019
Boeing executives are reviewing their internal safety measures.

Boeing Co. is weighing changes to its internal reporting structure to better identify aircraft safety concerns following the deadly crashes of its 737 Max.

The manufacturer should rethink reporting lines to ensure that Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg and other officials are briefed on engineering decisions as well as concerns raised by lower-level workers, according to new recommendations from an internal safety review panel. Boeing is also considering forming a permanent committee to examine the design and development of new planes.

The review panel’s recommendations were laid out to Boeing’s board last weekend, according to a report by Reuters that was confirmed by the company. In a statement, Boeing said it is “grateful for the efforts of the special committee and will make any announcements about its work at the appropriate time.”

The changes would be the first concrete steps taken by Boeing to overhaul its operations as the ailing company grapples with a crisis around its top-selling jetliner. The Max has been grounded worldwide since March after a pair of crashes killed 346 people.

Boeing formed the one-off review panel this year to assess its operations and ensure that future aircraft development avoids the missteps that compromised safety on the Max. Muilenburg already has begun receiving regular rundowns of safety concerns raised by engineers throughout the Chicago-based company.

In public comments, Boeing officials have emphasized a commitment to safety while seeking to regain the confidence of skeptical passengers, investors, customers and regulators. The company is facing congressional and civil inquiries as well as scores of lawsuits from the families of crash victims.

The shares rose less than 1% to $364.82 at 1:54 p.m. in New York. Boeing gained 13% this year through Thursday, trailing the 17% advance in the S&P 500 Index.

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