WASHINGTON — On January 5, The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has assembled a team of 24 experts to evaluate the safety management processes at Boeing and how they contribute to the company's overall safety culture.

This review is being conducted in the wake of two fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX aircraft, which resulted in the deaths of 346 people.

The panel tasked with reviewing Boeing's safety management processes, and culture consists of experts from a variety of backgrounds, including MIT, NASA, the FAA, labor unions, Airbus, and several major airlines. One member, Javier de Luis, is an aerospace engineer and MIT lecturer whose sister died in one of the 737 MAX crashes. Other panel members come from companies such as GE Aviation, FedEx Express, and Pratt & Whitney. This panel was established as part of a 2020 Congressional law aimed at improving the FAA's process for certifying new airplanes.

The panel has been given a nine-month timeline to conduct its review and present its findings and recommendations. It is expected to begin its work in the coming weeks. Although Congress had instructed the FAA to appoint a panel by 2021, the agency missed that deadline.

According to a September 2020 report from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the two 737 MAX crashes were the result of faulty technical assumptions by Boeing's engineers, a lack of transparency from the company's management, and inadequate oversight by the FAA. The report characterized these factors as contributing to the tragic outcome of the crashes.

Boeing did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday, but in the past, the company has stated that it has implemented significant changes to its safety practices, including investments totaling billions of dollars.

De Luis, an expert in the field of aeronautical engineering, testified before Congress in 2020 that Boeing should not be allowed to self-certify its designs, particularly those related to safety, without adequate external oversight.

Last month, Congress voted to extend the deadline for implementing a new safety standard for cockpit alerts on the 737 MAX aircraft, which had been set for December 27. This decision potentially allowed for the sale of the new models to continue despite not meeting the standard.

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In September 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established a policy to safeguard aviation employees involved in government certification processes from interference by Boeing and other parties.

The same year in May, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a renewal of Boeing's Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program for a period of three years rather than the five years requested by the company.

The FAA has also implemented additional oversight measures for Boeing, including inspecting all new 737 MAX and 787 aircraft before they can be delivered. In November, the Office of Inspector General within the Department of Transportation announced plans to audit the FAA's oversight of the MAX.