Applauding Commerce Committee's Passage of Bipartisan Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act
by Ted Cruz on November 20, 2020 at 10:04 AM
I recently issued the following statement after the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act of 2020, which included four of his amendments, advanced out of the Commerce Committee with strong bipartisan support.
Following the bill's passage out of Committee, I said:
"I'm grateful my colleagues advanced the Aircraft Safety and Certification Reform Act out of committee. The most important responsibility of government is to protect the lives of the American people. That includes the flying public. The FAA's mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. Congress has a responsibility to make sure the FAA is living up to their mission statement, and that they're held to account when they fall short. This bill does just that - and is a good and important step to restore the flying public's confidence and trust in the safety of America's airlines.
"The increased scrutiny and oversight that this legislation adds to the certification process are especially important now, as the Boeing 737 MAX prepares to return to service in the coming weeks. I am hopeful the legislation will be passed prior to the end of this Congress and sent to the president for his signature."
The bill passed with four Cruz-led amendments including:
- A transparency clause for the Center of Excellence established by the legislation;
- A requirement that the FAA establish document traceability procedures for systems safety assessments and clarity of procedures for revisions made during the certification process;
- A requirement that the FAA initiate a process to require a manufacturer to submit a single document that outlines expected changes to the FAA at the beginning of the certification process; and
- A requirement that the FAA must evaluate any underlying human factors assumptions used for a systems safety assessment or airworthiness standards for a critical system design feature prior to delegating any finding of compliance.
As Chairman of the Aviation and Space Subcommittee, I have been a leading voice in the Senate demanding answers from the FAA and Boeing, and seeking the truth surrounding the events that led to the 737 MAX crashes. Specifically, I:
- Called for the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, "until the FAA confirms the safety of these aircraft and their passengers" after the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
- Launched the Commerce Committee's investigation to examine the facts and figure out what went wrong.
- Urged FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson to be "pissed off that 346 people died" in two plane crashes within six months.
- Called former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg's testimony "dismaying," and questioned his knowledge of the stunning exchange between two chief technical pilots at Boeing who described the problems with the 737 MAX before the two plane crashes.
- Forced the FAA to admit the agency made mistakes when certifying the 737 MAX.