FAA to increase oversight on United Airlines amid safety incidents

FAA to increase oversight on United Airlines amid safety incidents
It comes after United CEO Scott Kirby attempted to reassure passengers last week that the airline is addressing safety concerns (Image credit: Adobe Stock)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stated it will increase its oversight on United Airlines following a series of incidents with its aircraft over the last month.

A spokesperson for the US regulator said in a statement: “Due to recent safety events, the FAA is increasing oversight of United Airlines to ensure that it is complying with safety regulations – identifying hazards and mitigating risk, and effectively managing safety.

“Certification activities in process may be allowed to continue, but future projects may be delayed based on the findings from oversight.”

The series of incidents occurring with United aircraft were non-fatal – but have caused concern amongst passengers amid the Boeing safety crisis.

Instances include an Osaka-bound Boeing 777 that lost a wheel as it took off from San Francisco, and a Boeing 737 MAX 8 that skidded off the taxiway in Houston.

Last week, Sasha Johnson, United’s vice president of corporate safety, released a memo to employees stating: “Over the next several weeks, we will begin to see more of an FAA presence in our operation as they begin to review some of our work processes, manuals and facilities.

“We welcome their engagement and are very open to hear from them about what they find and their perspective on things we may need to change to make us even safer.”

Also last week, United CEO Scott Kirby released a statement to customers reassuring them that “safety is our highest priority and is at the centre of everything we do”.

He told the public: “You can be confident that every time a United plane pulls away from the gate, everyone on our team is working together to keep you safe on your trip.”

It is not confirmed which projects could be affected by the FAA’s increased presence – but it could potentially pause the airline’s ability to add new routes, fly newly delivered aircraft and promote pilots, Bloomberg reports.