The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved an inspection that could pave the way for grounded Boeing planes to fly again.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators have approved an inspection that will allow airlines to resume flying their Boeing 737 Max 9 planes, which have been grounded since a side panel of the plane exploded mid-flight earlier this month.

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday that his agency’s review of the frightening accident aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing plane gives him confidence to pave the way for planes to return to flying.

The FAA will not approve any Boeing request to expand production of the Max jets until the agency is satisfied that quality control concerns are addressed, the official, Mike Whitaker, said.

The move came on the same day that a senior senator indicated that Congress would join the scrutiny of Boeing.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, met with Boeing CEO David Calhoun to discuss the incidents, including One this month A panel called a door seal exploded on a Boeing 737 Max 9 while flying 3 miles (5 kilometers) over Oregon.

Cantwell said she told Calhoun that quality engineering and safety should be the company’s top priorities.

“The American aviation industry and Boeing’s airline workers deserve a leadership culture at Boeing that puts safety before profits,” said Cantwell, who represents the state where Boeing assembles the 737 planes.

Cantwell said the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which she chairs, will hold hearings “to investigate the root causes of these safety lapses.” No dates have been announced.

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The National Transportation Safety Board is Investigation into the accident On board an Alaska Airlines Max 9. NTSB officials said they were looking into whether screws that help secure a panel called a door seal were missing before the plane took off from Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 5. The explosion left a hole in the plane. side of the plane, but the pilots were able to land safely.

An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board will return to the Boeing 737 assembly plant in Renton, Washington, on Friday as the investigation continues, a spokesman said. Investigators are developing a timeline of the door seal that failed, from the early stages of its production to the flight in which it exploded from the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into whether Boeing and its suppliers Proper safety procedures were followed During manufacturing.

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