Boeing might be facing new issues over alleged violations of a settlement it reached with regulators in 2015.
The company is close to bringing back its 737 Max plane. But U.S. aviation authorities are reportedly considered the imposition of new penalties against the manufacturer, sources familiar with the matter have said.
According to the same sources, the Federal Aviation Administration has told Boeing of its planned action. The agency has accused Boeing of knowingly allowing quality control lapses at its assembly lines and placing undue management pressure on engineers to accelerate certifications within its own safety systems.
The Federal Aviation Administration alleges that Boeing's actions amounted to violations of a 2015 settlement over its safety oversight issues. The agency is reportedly planning further examinations of its operations - which include the production of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
The settlement reached by the agency and Boeing more than five years ago was over the manufacturer's persistent safety shortcomings. The Federal Aviation Administration acted upon reports from some of the company's own factory workers who said the company tolerated lapses within its safety management and reporting systems.
The Federal Aviation Administration was preparing to lift the grounding of Boeing's 737 Max in the U.S. and later by aviation regulators in Europe, Canada, Brazil and other parts of the world.
The grounding of its planes following two fatal crashes put Boeing into its largest financial crisis and then the pandemic brought its business to lows. The world travel demand slump, combined with canceled orders of its 737 Max jets, resulted in record losses for the company and a drop in its stock price.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce its decision on the grounding order Nov. 18. If it rules in favor of Boeing, the company's airplanes could be back in the air by the start of 2021.
Earlier in the week, the Federal Aviation Administration said it was in the final process of signing off on Boeing's safety fixes to its 737 Max planes. The agency added it didn't have a firm date for the commercial use of the jets.