Passengers around the world were shocked and then infuriated when they learned of the safety concerns surrounding Boeing's 737 Max airplane, after two of their planes recently crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
After the plane was grounded, we've learned more about how this problem emerged. It turns out that for years, thanks to budget cuts and political pressure to let corporations "self-regulate," the Federal Aviation Administration has been delegating critical safety reviews to Boeing's own staff.
Unsurprisingly, those staff have come under pressure from company executives looking to cut costs -- and the results may have been devastating for passenger safety.1 This is unacceptable.
Sign the petition and tell Congress: Break up the cozy relationship between Boeing and federal regulators. Corporate profits must never come before public safety!
According to the Seattle Times, "Many engineers, employed by Boeing while officially designated to be the FAA's eyes and ears, faced heavy pressure from Boeing managers to limit safety analysis and testing so the company could meet its schedule and keep down costs."2
This isn't just a story about ensuring your plane is safe. This is a story about corporate power and why independent government regulation is so important.
Companies like Boeing have spent huge sums of money on campaign donations and lobbyists in order to get Congress to relax critical oversight. Executives look at the costs of complying with these regulations and see lost profits -- even though the rest of us see those regulations as essential to protect our safety.
In recent decades, Republicans and Democrats have given into this corporate pressure, despite experts and workers warning of the dire consequences. Whether it's airline safety, bank regulation, protecting your rights online, and beyond, the federal agencies that were created to protect the public trust now wind up turning a blind eye to reckless corporate behavior. That's how we got a financial crisis and a recession -- among many other disasters.
Demand Progress fights hard to push our elected officials and government agencies to do their jobs and take on corporate power. The FAA was created to oversee the airlines and make sure you are safe in the sky. They can't do that by outsourcing their responsibility to Boeing. It's time for Congress to step up.
Add your name: Tell Congress to stop letting Boeing certify its own planes.
1. Politico, "How the FAA delegated oversight to Boeing," March 21, 2019.
2. Seattle Times, "Engineers say Boeing pushed to limit safety testing in race to certify planes, including 737 MAX," May 5, 2019.