The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed $1.25 million in civil penalties against The Boeing Company, accusing the aircraft manufacturer of exerting undue pressure on FAA designees at a Boeing facility in South Carolina and of interfering with their work.
The FAA said, in a statement issued Wednesday, that the violations involved work in the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program, which allows Boeing to perform some functions ─ such as aircraft inspections and the issuance of airworthiness certificates ─ on the FAA’s behalf.
Boeing builds 787 aircraft at the South Carolina site.
The FAA proposed two separate civil penalties. A $1.07 million proposed penalty alleges that the manufacturer “implemented an improper structure” of its FAA-approved ODA program.
“Between November 2017 and July 2019, employees in two ODA units reported to managers who were not in approved ODA management positions,” the FAA said. “Boeing failed to ensure ODA administrators were in a position to effectively represent the FAA’s interests.”
The FAA also said that Boeing “exerted undue pressure or interfered with ODA unit members” between September 2018 and May 2019.
The second proposed penalty, of $184,522, stems from an allegation that on Feb. 26, 2020, Boeing did not follow its own quality control processes “and subjected ODA members to undue pressure or interfered with an airworthiness inspection of a Boeing 787-9,” the FAA said.
The FAA said that, despite the alleged pressure and interference, the ODA unit properly performed its function in ensuring that aircraft were “conforming and in a condition for safe operation” before airworthiness certificates were issued.
Boeing will have 30 days to respond to the FAA after it receives the agency’s enforcement letters.