At a Senate Commerce Committee Hearing titled, “Aviation Safety and the Future of Boeing’s 737 MAX,” Klobuchar urged Boeing officials to evaluate the findings of the investigations into recent crashes and improve the safety measures in the U.S. commercial aviation industry
WASHINGTON – At a Senate Commerce Committee Hearing titled, “Aviation Safety and the Future of Boeing’s 737 MAX,” U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) urged Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg and Vice President and Chief Engineer John Hamilton to truly evaluate the findings of the investigations into the two tragic airplane crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft flown by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air took the lives of over 300 people, including Mucaad Hussein Abdalla, a resident of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Klobuchar questioned the witnesses about the recent crashes and key issues that need to addressed to improve the safety measures we have for the U.S. commercial aviation industry.
“I also want to give my sincere, sincere thanks to the people who are here who lost their loved ones in these two crashes.” Klobuchar said at the hearing. “I think you know you are here not only for them. It must be hard to hear all of these technical issues when you think of your brother or sister or father or mother or son or daughter, but I want you to know that we want to get to the bottom of this and we want to change this.”
During her questions, Klobuchar asked: "How frequently are new automated systems left out of the training manuals that you give to pilots?"
"Senator, first of all, one of the things we've learned from both of these accidents is that we need to provide additional information on MCAS to pilots just to give you context, as we develop our training manuals, our idea is to provide training on pilots so they can respond to the effects of failures as opposed to trying to diagnose failures, and that's a very important distinction. And so more information in the training manuals is not necessarily safer, but as we understand from both of these accidents, we need to provide more information on MCAS to enhance safety," Muilenburg replied.
Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to improve safety in the aviation industry and has long supported rural aviation. In March, Klobuchar and Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) reintroduced the Safe Skies Act, which would ensure that America’s cargo plane pilots have the same rest requirements as passenger pilots.
In October 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 was signed into law, providing needed certainty for the aviation industry while enhancing consumer protections and passenger safety. A key amendment to the legislation was included by Klobuchar to provide a consistent level of consumer protections regardless of where tickets are purchased. In 2012, Senator Klobuchar included language in the FAA reauthorization prioritizing aviation related construction projects in cold-weather states to accommodate their limited construction season.
For video of Klobuchar’s remarks at the hearing click here.