FAA says it will handle all approvals for new Max jets

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FILE – In this May 8, 2019, file photo, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight in Renton, Wash. Boeing announced its first order for 737 Max jets this week since two deadly crashes of the jet, and says it is in discussions with several other customers around the world interested in the plane despite concerns about software implicated in the accidents. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)


WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal safety regulators say they’ll keep full control over approving each new Boeing 737 Max built since the planes were grounded in March.

Some of those approvals are normally handled by Boeing employees, whose work is overseen by federal inspectors.

It’s the latest move by the Federal Aviation Administration to show independence from Boeing. Lawmakers accuse the FAA of surrendering too much authority to Boeing in certifying the Max, which was grounded after two crashes that killed 346 people.

The FAA said it told Boeing on Tuesday that the agency will retain power over safety approvals for all newly manufactured Max planes.

Earlier this month, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson said there’s a lot of pressure to return the Max to service but the agency will take as much time as needed.

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