The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration plans to overhaul its air safety oversight function by July following two fatal crashes involving Boeing Co. aircraft in recent months, Reuters reported, citing written congressional testimony by a U.S. Department of Transportation official and the FAA's acting chief.
Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel will tell a Senate panel hearing March 27 that the FAA intends to launch a new process that shows a "significant change in its oversight approach," according to his prepared remarks seen by Reuters.
Scovel is leading a government audit of the FAA's certification process for Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
In the same hearing of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Aviation and Space, acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell is also expected to say the regulator's "oversight approach needs to evolve."
The U.S. grounded all flights of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 aircraft in the country after an Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier in March. According to the FAA, investigations have found "some similarities" between the latest mishap and the Lion Air crash of October 2018, which also involved a Boeing aircraft.
Elwell will say at the Senate panel hearing that the grounding of the 737 Max aircraft will be lifted "only when the FAA's analysis of the facts and technical data indicate that it is appropriate," Reuters reported.