Boeing faced two separate congressional hearings over safety concerns on Wednesday.

SEATTLE — Boeing faced two separate congressional hearings over safety concerns on Wednesday. While one addressed a whistleblower, the other detailed the company’s safety concerns dating back to two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019.

“When it comes to this management strategy, and it revolves around aviation, it is about saving lives,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell. 

Wednesday’s hearing addressed major safety issues at Boeing.

“A disconnect for lack of a better word between the words that are being said by Boeing management and what is being seen and experienced by employees across the company,” said Dr. Javier de Luis.

Dr. de Luis, an engineer with MIT, is one of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expert panelists. In a 50-page report, the panel identified 27 findings and 53 recommendations. 

The expert panel reviewed years of safety records at Boeing, and conducted more than 250 interviews and meetings with Boeing employees across six company locations. The panel found “a lack of awareness of safety-related metrics at all levels of the organization,” especially on the frontlines. 

“They hear ‘safety is our number one priority,’” said Dr. de Luis. “But what they see is that is only true as long as your production milestones are met and then it’s, ‘Push it out the door as fast as you can.”

Dr. de Luis’ sister died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in 2019. He hopes changes can be made, before another tragedy happens. 

“The pace of change at Boeing is not commensurate of the events that created the need for all this change in the first place namely the two fatal crashes of two brand new aircrafts five years ago,” said Dr. de Luis.  

According to Dr. de Luis there are three steps that will help solve the safety issues: Increasing FAA oversight, pushing for better lines of communication in the factories and ensuring the panel’s recommendations are fully implemented.

“This is the only way that we can return this company to what we all remember it once being,” said Dr. de Luis. “A company known for engineering excellence. A company where the headlines were written about it because of its accomplishments and not because of its failures.”

The FAA gave Boeing 90 days to fix the noted problems.

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