Make Kitco Your Homepage

U.S. transport chief names aviation safety advisory panel

Kitco News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Thursday named 22 people to a new panel that will advise the department on aviation safety oversight and certification programs as the Federal Aviation Administration continues to grapple with the fallout from two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes.

The long-time practice of the FAA delegating certification tasks to aircraft manufacturers has come under criticism after the two 737 MAX crashes in five months.

The panel, created last year by Congress, will offer input on “aircraft and flight standards certification processes, oversight of safety management systems, risk-based oversight efforts, and utilization of delegation and designation authorities,” the department said.

The panel will be chaired by former Alaska Airlines Chief Executive William Ayer. It includes officials from Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), GE Aviation (GE.N), United Airlines (UAL.O), Bell Helicopter Textron (TXT.N), Garmin (GRMN.O), Wing Aviation LLC, Pratt & Whitney - a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) - and Gulfstream - a unit of General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) - as well as union, airport and trade association officials.

Beth Pasztor, vice president for safety, security and compliance at Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BA.N), is also on the panel.

Federal prosecutors, the Department of Transportation’s inspector general, Congress and several blue-ribbon panels are investigating how the FAA certifies new aircraft and the decision to certify the 737 MAX. Last month, U.S. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said his agency would outline recommendations on the FAA’s aircraft certification procedures by late September.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.