Boeing Disaster Was Chao’s Failure, Lack of Oversight at FAA Comes Into Focus

New Reporting Reveals that Under Chao, Boeing Disclosing Safety Concerns to FAA Regulators was Merely Optional

WASHINGTON — Today, new reporting from NPR raises serious concerns about how the culture of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao led to failures at aviation giant Boeing. Boeing was reportedly aware of problems with key safety indicators in their fleet back in 2017 when Secretary Chao first took over as Transportation Secretary, yet failed to disclose the safety issues to FAA.

“Americans and others aboard the fatal 737 Max planes paid the ultimate price for Chao’s laissez-faire attitude toward FAA,” said Lizzy Price, spokesperson for Restore Public Trust. “The Transportation Secretary should consider safety as her first, second, and third priority yet Secretary Chao neglected to oversee one of the most important safety regulators. Now, Americans are left with questions: How did FAA lead Boeing to believe safety concerns were optional to report? Where was Secretary Chao? Congress must review how Chao’s lack of oversight led to Boeing’s decision not to disclose safety problems earlier.”

Following sharp criticism, Secretary Chao and the FAA grounded Boeing’s 737 Max planes in March. In April, the Senate launched a probe into FAA certification of Boeing’s 737 Max.


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