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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has publicly criticized Boeing for failing to meet quality control standards after a recent audit spurred by a midair incident earlier this year.

According to the FAA’s statement, the six-week examination of Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems, uncovered “multiple instances when the companies allegedly failed to comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.” The investigation into Boeing’s practices revealed significant non-compliance in areas of manufacturing process control, handling and storage of parts, and overall product oversight.

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The specifics of the FAA’s findings are under wraps due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, with a spokesperson stating that further details cannot be disclosed at this time. However, the results of the audit have been shared with both Boeing and Spirit, prompting responses from both entities. Spirit spokesperson Joe Buccino expressed the company’s receptiveness to the FAA’s scrutiny, stating, “We are in communication with Boeing and the FAA on appropriate corrective actions.”

Meanwhile, Boeing acknowledged its engagement in discussions to potentially reacquire Spirit AeroSystems, emphasizing efforts to enhance the quality of the commercial airplanes produced jointly.

In light of the audit and feedback from an expert panel, the FAA has given Boeing a 90-day window to devise a strategy to address the identified “systemic quality-control” issues. FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker stressed the importance of substantial and lasting improvement, affirming, “Boeing must commit to real and profound improvements.” Boeing’s CEO, David Calhoun, echoed this sentiment, committing to transparency and outlining a plan for significant change, “Our Boeing leadership team is totally committed to meeting this challenge.”


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