FAA's Dickson Calls for Holistic Approach to Certification

 - November 12, 2019, 1:56 PM

Key themes have emerged surrounding the FAA’s certification process as a result of the reviews surrounding the Boeing 737 Max, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson told the Aero Club of Washington on Tuesday, adding he is committed to addressing each one. In his first address to the Aero Club, the recently appointed administrator said in his prepared remarks that “willingness to accept critique is a sign of humility and transparency. It is also a strength…We welcome scrutiny and feedback on how we can improve our processes.”
In meeting with the regulatory counterparts around the world, he added, “They appreciate and value U.S. leadership. They understand that by working together, we will all be better and raise the bar on global aviation safety.”
As far as the themes that have emerged, Dickson cited a more holistic approach rather than a transactional, item-by-item approach to aircraft certification; the integration of human factors consideration more effectively through the design process, particularly as aircraft become more automated and systems more complex; and coordination and flexibility of information flow during the oversight process.
He stressed that a return-to-service decision for the Max will be based solely on the FAA's assessment of Boeing’s proposed software updates and the availability of appropriate pilot training. “We are not delegating anything,” he said. “When we finally make the decision to return this aircraft to service, it will be the most scrutinized aircraft in history. It will also be one of the safest machines to ever take to the sky.”