Larsen Delivers Opening Statement at 737 MAX Hearing on FAA Oversight of Aircraft Certification

Dec 11, 2019 Issues: Transportation & Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen (WA-02) delivered the below opening statement at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing entitled “The Boeing 737 MAX: Examining the Federal Aviation Administration’s Oversight of the Aircraft’s Certification.” You can view Chair Larsen’s opening statement here.

Remarks as prepared for delivery

“Thank you, Chair DeFazio.

“With today’s hearing, the Committee reaches another milestone in its investigation.

“It is increasingly clear the process by which the FAA evaluates and certifies aircraft is itself in need of repair.

“Congress must reevaluate and improve the current certification process to ensure the safety of the flying public.

“As this critical oversight work continues, the 346 lives tragically lost in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes will remain at the forefront of these efforts.

“Several of the family members of the victims are here today. I extend my deepest condolences to you and your loved ones. Your advocacy makes a difference. 

“The FAA must fix its credibility problem. Just like I asked Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at the Committee’s last hearing, I expect to hear the three main mistakes the FAA made regarding the 737 MAX and the specific steps the agency is taking to restore public confidence.        

“I also look forward to hearing about the TAB’s progress as it looks over the FAA’s shoulder as the agency works on a return to service decision.

“From today’s second panel, the two former Boeing and FAA employees are providing an important perspective on questionable management decision-making that seem to prioritize economic interests over public safety.

“Further, I am interested in learning more from the safety experts on the panel about the integration of human factors as aviation technology becomes increasingly automated. Airplanes are changing, but the federal government and certification is not changing with those planes.

“Though 2019 is coming to an end, the Committee’s investigation is far from over.

“The Committee will continue to maintain safety as the guiding principle and use all available tools to ensure the safety of the traveling public.

“Thank you, I yield back.”