US Transport Secretary Flies on 737 Max 8 Amid Pressures to Suspend Boeing Plane Flights

김동수 / 기사승인 : 2019-09-24 15:19:57
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▲ [Photo source : Wikimedia Commons]

[스페셜경제= Dongsu Kim] US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is not only fighting against demands to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, she even flew in one back to Washington on Tuesday afternoon amid airlines and governments around the world suspending the planes' flights after a deadly crash in Ethiopia.

Chao and her staff boarded a Southwest Airlines 737 MAX 8 from Texas to Washington, D.C. merely hours after she said the Transportation Department will halt flights of Max aircraft if it's determined they are not safe for flying.

"The department and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration will not hesitate to take immediate and appropriate action," Chao said, as quoted by CNBC.

Acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell echoed Chao's remarks in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon. The statement defended the aviation administration's decision to not mandate airlines to stop its operations with the newest Boeing airplane models.

In the release, Elwell said their review did not indicate any issues on the aircraft's performance issues nor did it provide a basis to ground the planes. There was also no other civil aviation authorities that gave data to the FAA that could warrant such a measure.

"In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," the acting administrator said.

CNBC reports that over 30 airlines, several countries, and the European Union have all decided to ground the 737 MAX 8 planes while Elwell and Chao are waiting to acquire data that will convince them to keep the planes' grounded.

The business news site adds that the resolutions created a belief for some that D.C. regulators, as well as three US airlines operating the Max 8, are being stubborn as they continue to fly the planes. Southwest, American, and United Airlines all fly the Max plane series and said they are not planning to take them out of flying service.

美 교통부 장관, 추락 논란의 보잉 737맥스 탑승하고 워싱턴 복귀  

[스페셜경제= 김동수 기자] 일레인 차오 미 교통부 장관이 잇달은 추락사고로 논란의 중심이 된 보잉 737맥스를 직접 탑승하고 워싱턴으로 돌아왔다. 

차오와 직원들은 그녀가 교통부가 그들이 비행하기에 안전하지 않다고 판단되면 맥스 항공기의 비행을 중지할 것이라고 말한 지 거의 몇 시간 후에 텍사스에서 워싱턴으로 가는 사우스웨스트 항공편 보잉 737맥스에 탑승했다.

차오 국장은 CNBC의 말을 인용, "부서와 FAA(연방항공청)는 즉각적이고 적절한 조치를 주저하지 않을 것"이라고 말했다.

FAA 관리자 다니엘 엘웰은 성명에서 그들의 검토 결과 비행기의 성능 문제에 대한 어떠한 문제도 지적하지 않았으며 비행기의 착륙을 위한 근거도 제시하지 않았다고 말했다. FAA에 이런 조치를 정당화할 수 있는 자료를 준 민간 항공 당국도 없었다.

이 행정관은 "이티오피아 항공 302편 추락 사고에 대한 자료를 긴급 검토하는 과정에서 항공기의 지속적인 내공성에 영향을 미치는 문제가 확인되면 FAA는 즉각적이고 적절한 조치를 취할 것"이라고 말했다.

[저작권자ⓒ 스페셜경제. 무단전재-재배포 금지]

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