The US Federal Aviation Administration has launched an audit into Boeing’s internal processes, particularly in relation to minor design changes on its aircraft.
The decision was made off the back of the ongoing 737 MAX electrical fault problems, that now impacts 109 MAX aircraft around the globe, 71 of which are based in the US.
According to the FAA, its goal through the upcoming audit is to identify “areas where the company can improve its processes”.
Boeing responded to the announcement, and said it looks “forward to ongoing engagement with, and direction from, the FAA as we continuously improve safety and quality in our processes”.
Earlier this month, Boeing reported that it had found an electrical fault in its backup control unit in the cockpit.
The planemaker reported the fault to be as a result of a “production issue”.
Later, it was revealed that the same electrical fault was found in multiple places within the cockpit, not just the backup control unit.
The electrical issue involves a lapse in the grounding capabilities of some electrical circuits located in the cockpit. Grounding capabilities are vital in order to maintain a user’s safety in the event of a surge of voltage that could otherwise result in a shock or electrocution.
Just yesterday, Boeing announced it will officially halt future deliveries of its 737 MAX jets until it has resolved the faults.
Simultaneously, the US Federal Aviation Administration officially released its airworthiness directive stipulating the grounding of 109 in-service 737 MAX jets around the world, in a move that was previously announced last week.
The directive states that all affected jets must “remain on the ground while Boeing continues to develop a proposed fix” to the multiple electrical faults located in the jets’ cockpit.
In a conference call with analysts, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun stated he was unsure exactly when the mechanical problems with the MAX will be fixed, and confirmed that no new MAX aircraft will be delivered until the problem is appropriately solved.
While Boeing has not confirmed how many built, but as-yet undelivered, MAX aircraft are affected by the manufacturing faults, the FAA appeared to suggest that nearly 300 undelivered MAX jets would fall under its recent bulletin.
Boeing still has a backlog of around 400 undelivered MAX aircraft.