Boeing CEO to Face Senate Over Safety Concerns

Boeing CEO David Calhoun is set to testify before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on June 18, 2024, to address ongoing safety and manufacturing issues at the aerospace giant. The hearing, led by Chairman Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ranking Member Ron Johnson (R-WI), aims to scrutinize Boeing's safety practices following a series of alarming incidents and whistleblower allegations​.

This investigation follows a near-disastrous incident in January when a Boeing 737 MAX operated by Alaska Airlines had to make an emergency landing after a fuselage panel blew out mid-flight.

This event reignited concerns over Boeing's safety culture, which had already been under intense scrutiny due to the two fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX in 2018 and 2019​.

Whistleblower disclosures received in March 2024 prompted the Senate Subcommittee to open a bipartisan inquiry into Boeing's manufacturing practices.

These disclosures included testimonies from current and former Boeing employees about significant safety lapses and a retaliatory culture against those who raised concerns. One prominent whistleblower, Sam Salehpour, highlighted ongoing deficiencies during an April 2024 hearing​ ​.

In response to these issues, Boeing submitted a comprehensive action plan to federal regulators on May 30, 2024, outlining steps to address the identified safety problems. Despite these efforts, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has paused the expansion of 737 MAX production due to ongoing "non-compliance" issues in Boeing's manufacturing process​ ​.

Senator Blumenthal has criticized Boeing for prioritizing profits over safety, stating, "Years of putting profits ahead of safety, stock price ahead of quality, and production speed ahead of responsibility has brought Boeing to this moment of reckoning."

The upcoming testimony by Calhoun is seen as crucial for addressing these failures and rebuilding public trust​.