Today, after a thorough Transportation and Infrastructure Committee investigation, 5 public hearings, and more than a dozen other committee meetings, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) helped the Committee pass the bipartisan Aircraft Certification Reform and Accountability Act (H.R. 8408) in response to the 2018 and 2019 Boeing 737 Max plane crashes that tragically claimed the lives of 346 people. The legislation includes numerous, significant reforms to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) airplane certification system which will enhance the safety of air passengers.
"From the onset of this committee's investigation, I have repeatedly said that something went terribly wrong in the certification of the Boeing 737 Max plane and Congress must do all we can to fix the process to prevent tragedies like this from happening again," said Congressman Lipinski. "The bipartisan bill passed by the Committee today delivers on that commitment by addressing many of the issues I raised in hearings over the last seventeen months. Those include: 1) instituting significant reforms to the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program to reinforce the FAA's oversight role,2) making sure that critical safety systems like MCAS are clearly disclosed and evaluated before a plane is certified to fly, 3) requiring a system-wide safety assessment for proposed design changes under "amended type" certificates, and 4) addressing concerns about the revolving door between industry and the FAA by implementing a one-year cooling off period for incoming FAA employees before they can oversee their former employer. We owe it to the victims and families to ensure that this bill is enacted into law and is fully implemented."
The Aircraft Certification Reform and Accountability Act reforms will collectively ensure that the ODA program functions appropriately, that the FAA is free from undo industry influence and is truly an independent regulator, that new technologies like MCAS are properly analysed for their safety, and that the cultures at Boeing and FAA embody the right values.
The bill is the result of nearly two years of effort by Congressman Lipinski, Chairmen DeFazio and Larsen, and other members of the T&I Committee to get to the bottom of the two Boeing Max crashes and craft legislation to protect American travellers. Today's action follows the release of the Committee's final report on its 18-month investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX earlier this month.
Rep. Lipinski participated in multiple hearings during the Committee's investigation and worked with the Committee to ensure the legislation addressed the issues he raised in the hearings.