Boeing to invest over US$1 billion in new safety initiative

While yet to be officially announced, Boeing would appear to be about to launch a major PR exercise in the form of a billion-dollar worldwide safety initiative. The revelation comes hot on the heels of accusations made by U.S. lawmakers during recent hearings relating to the two fatal 737 MAX crashes that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg had put profit before safety standards.

Muilenburg would not provide much detail but confirmed that Boeing would help “build a talent pipeline” of pilots and invest heavily in the pilot-machine interface or flight deck for the next generation. For the time being, focus at Boeing is more on getting the beleaguered 737 MAX back in the air and the global initiative will likely be rolled out next year once changes to the MAX software and pilot training have been approved by regulators. This approval is anticipated to be by the end of 2019 in the U.S. but not until the first quarter of 2020 in Europe.

According to someone who is familiar with Boeing’s new initiative, “It will involve significant funds to raise standards around the world and requires Boeing putting its own money in.” According to Reuters news agency, it is understood that part of Boeing’s investment will include improving aviation infrastructure, such as air traffic and flight simulation systems, while it is also considering whether to develop new training materials or methods for various career stages, and to fund training centers or recruitment efforts. There is also potential for Boeing to also create a data-sharing network on aircraft design with global regulators to improve outside knowledge of its aircraft technology and operations. Recently, the head of the EASA told Reuters that it would demand more data when deciding whether or not to certify future jets.

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