The U.S. aviation regulator has to bear an extra cost of $1.8 billion and to hire 10,000 more employees for handling the process of all aircraft to be certified internally by the agency, told acting chief of the agency on Wednesday to Senate panel which was, after two crashes of Boeing 737 MAX, questioning about the process of new planes to be approved for flights.
Part of decades-old process, work related to airplane certification has been delegated to the manufacturers themselves by the Federal Aviation Administration on its behalf, and by July 2019, the authority has agreed to largely improve the supervision of organizations like Boeing performing that task of certification passed over by the FAA, told Calvin Scovel, Inspector General of U.S. Transportation Department, to the panel.
The panel inquired the Daniel Elwell, acting head of FAA, about not requiring of flight manuals with disclosure of a new anti-stall software system or new pilot training in 2017 before certifying the 737 MAX passenger jets, which have now been grounded after the crashes.
Chairman of Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, Senator Ted Cruz told Reuters, describing the estimates of Elwell as a little bit of straw man and counted them as deflecting the panel from the serious concerns of about the delegation of FAA’s responsibilities to the Boeing.
The long-standing questions about closeness of the FAA with manufacturer like Boeing remained the main concern, especially after a 2012 audit which highlighted that ties, said Cruz.
At moment, we are unable to know the reasons behind not disclosing the new anti-stall software system but it, for sure, was insufficient that the training material of pilots was not having the details of that new system, Cruz said.
Pilot and a Democrat Senator, Joe Manchin raised concerns over the FAA to take so long to ground the 737 MAX while aircraft was halted quickly by the regulators around the world.