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FAA Floats Protections for Aircraft Safety Inspectors

The agency issued new policies amid concerns about improper influence by manufacturers.

Federal aviation regulators are taking steps to ensure that aircraft safety inspectors aren’t pressured by the companies they’re overseeing.

Proposed guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration would direct aircraft manufacturers to report and investigate all allegations of improper influence.

It would also enable safety personnel to speak with FAA officials directly.

The nation’s aircraft safety processes came under fire after two deadly crashes linked to a flight-control system on the Boeing 737 Max.

Observers raised concerns about aerospace companies effectively monitoring themselves and about ties between regulators and industry.

Inspectors, according to Reuters, reported “strong” external pressure from companies in an FAA survey released in 2020.

The draft guidance follows other changes mandated by Congress, including new FAA oversight of company inspectors.

Boeing indicated that it "fully supports efforts to enhance transparency and independence.”

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