WASHINGTON — Boeing's European rival Airbus announced that it has pulled out of a panel appointed by the U.S. government to examine the safety practices and culture of the American aircraft manufacturer following the two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX jet, which killed 346 people.

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) named the members of a panel to review the safety procedures of Boeing and how they influence the company's safety culture. The committee comprises experts from various fields, including aerospace engineering, labor unions, NASA, FAA, and major airlines like Southwest, American, United, GE Aviation, and FedEx Express. Notably, the panel includes Javier de Luis, an MIT lecturer and aerospace engineer, who lost his sister in one of these crashes.

Also read: FAA names experts to review Boeing’s safety management processes and how they influence planemaker’s safety culture

James Tidball, the head of the certification for Airbus Americas, has also been named as a member of the FAA's panel tasked to review the safety practices of Boeing. However, The European planemaker has announced that despite appreciating the FAA's recognition of Tidball's objectivity towards safety, he will withdraw from the panel as it focuses on a specific Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

A law passed by Congress in 2020 ordered the formation of a panel to review and reform the process of the FAA's certification of new airplanes. The panel has been given nine months to complete its review and release its findings and recommendations. Congress had directed the FAA to appoint the members of the panel and start working on it by early 2021; however, the agency missed the deadline.

"The Boeing 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 were the horrific culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing's engineers, a lack of transparency on the part of Boeing's management, and grossly insufficient oversight by the FAA," a 2020 U.S. House report said.

Boeing, last week, refused to give any comment on the panel appointed by the FAA to review its safety procedures, but previously has highlighted that it has undergone substantial improvements in its safety culture following the MAX crashes, which resulted in losses of over $20 billion.

In the previous month, Congress passed a vote to remove a December 27th deadline for the imposition of a new safety standard for advanced cockpit alerts in two new variants of the 737 MAX aircraft. The deadline, if not lifted, could have jeopardized the future of these new models, the 737 MAX 7 and 737 MAX 10.

Also read: Boeing to win congressional support to push back new safety requirements for upcoming 737 MAX variants