"It is truly unfortunate that today's hearing is necessary and I wish we didn't have to be here today. But our first priority in aviation must always be the safety of the flying public. The fact of the matter is that that these crashes and subsequent reports on how the 737 Max was approved have badly shaken consumer confidence. In aviation, as in other industries where a small mistake can have catastrophic consequences, trust is the currency of the realm."
++WHITE FLASH BETWEEN SOUNDBITES++
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Richard Blumenthal, (D) Connecticut:
"The fact is that the FAA decided to do safety on the cheap, which is neither cheap nor safe, and put the fox in charge of the henhouse. That was true of the 737 MAX 8. In its rush to produce that aircraft, because of competition from Airbus, critical safety features were disregarded."
3.SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Elwell, Acting FAA Administrator:
"Safety is not just a set of programs that can be established or implemented. It is a way of living and working and it requires the open and transparent exchange of information. It takes collaboration, communication and common safety objectives to allow the FAA and the aviation community to jointly identify system hazards and to implement safety solutions. Decades of experience have proven that this approach yields knowledge that we would not otherwise obtain. FAA aircraft certification has always relied on the exchange of information and technical data with industry. Our certification processes are extensive, well-established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs for decades."
++WHITE FLASH BETWEEN SOUNDBITES++
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sen. Ted Cruz, (R) Texas:
"From the FAA's perspective, was there any information on this new m caste system that was required to be included or was included in the quote short self-administered online course that pilots are required to go through before flying the Max?"
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Daniel Elwell, Acting FAA Administrator:
"There was not specific instruction on the MCAS, to my knowledge, specifically because it was not a system that went directly to what the pilots flew on, on the Max. The difference between the Max and the NG."
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration was grilled by lawmakers Wednesday after the two deadly crashes of Boeing's new 737 Max planes raised questions of whether the FAA has gone too far in letting companies regulate themselves.
Speaking at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee's aviation subcommittee, Senator Ted Cruz said the Boeing 737 Max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia and reports about how the plane was approved by the FAA have shaken the public's confidence.
Cruz, who chairs the subcommittee, said the crashes have raised questions about the FAA oversight of how airplanes are certified to fly.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called the FAA's practices "safety on the cheap," saying Boeing rushed to get the 737 Max into the air to compete with Europe's Airbus, so critical safety features were disregarded.
Under the self-certifying program, employees of aircraft manufacturers perform tests and inspections that their companies need to win safety approvals, with the FAA overseeing that work.
The FAA and the industry insist it is a collaborative approach to safety that is vindicated by the U.S. safety record - one passenger accident death in the last 10 years and millions of flights.
Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell said the strategy has "consistently produced safe aircraft designs for decades."
Elwell said the FAA would need 10,000 more employees and an additional $1.8 billion a year to do all the work now done by designated employees of the companies it regulates.
Aviation safety and security , Transportation safety , Transportation , General news , Government and politics , Aircraft manufacturing , Aerospace and defense industry , Industrial products and services , Business
Richard Blumenthal , Ted Cruz
Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, United States government