Buttigieg calls Boeing report of 500% increase in employee safety concerns ‘encouraging’: ‘Err on the side of reporting’

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the sudden rise of safety concerns filed by employees at Boeing is both “encouraging” and “concerning.”

Buttigieg appeared on Face the Nation for an interview that aired Sunday to respond to a 500% increase in employees submitting safety reports. These concerns were raised on the heels of two congressional hearings regarding the company.

“There’s an encouraging part and a concerning part. The encouraging part is we want Boeing and any producer in in the aviation space to have a culture of ‘if you see something say something.’ We wanna make sure those mechanisms for reporting work,” Buttigieg said. “If anything, we want you to err on the side of reporting, so that’s the encouraging part. The concerning part of courses at any of those issues are happening at all. And that’s why a Boeing is under a huge amount of scrutiny right now.”

The secretary would not comment on whether Boeing had previously discouraged reporting. However, Buttigieg mentioned that the Federal Aviation Administrator chose to forcibly stop the company from increasing production until it can prove “that they can do it safely.”

“Again, all of this is about making sure that we maintain the extraordinary safety record of U.S. aviation. That’s not something that will happen ever being satisfied with the status quo,” Buttigieg said.

The aviation company released its third annual safety report on Friday. Boeing Chief Aerospace Safety Officer Mike Delany issued a statement alongside the report.

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“Our actions are focused on making further improvements to ensure safety, compliance and conformance of our products and services, without compromise,” Delaney said. “Our commitment is to never forget our responsibility to make sure every action and decision bring lasting improvements to the safety and quality of our products and services.”

This comes after Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun announced he would be resigning at the end of the year. Board Chairman Larry Kellner will also step down at the end of his term, and the president and CEO of the company’s commercial airplane unit Stan Deal will also retire.

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