Tuesday, March 12, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the tragic crashes of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes in less than six months, Consumer Reports is calling on airlines to temporarily halt flights of the MAX 8 pending a thorough safety investigation. If the airlines will not ground the planes, CR says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should.
William J. McGee, aviation adviser for Consumer Reports, said, “U.S. carriers–including American and Southwest–need to do what governments and airlines around the globe have done and temporarily ground these airplanes. These two domestic carriers operate 58 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes on hundreds of flights daily. Telling the public that the airplane is airworthy, as the FAA has done, without offering further explanation, does far too little to relieve the uncertainty and fear created by these two tragedies. While the investigators continue their work, the government and airlines should put safety first. American and Southwest should have already temporarily halted flights of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 until they can fully determine that their aircraft, training, and operations are safe, and explain this to the public. And since they haven’t, the FAA should. All necessary resources should be on the ground investigating what happened in Ethiopia and whether and how this crash is tied to the Lion Air tragedy in November.”