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FAA Steps Up Oversight of United Following Security Incidents



Skift Take

The FAA shall be reviewing United’s work processes, manuals and procedures after a string of security incidents the provider skilled in March.

The Federal Aviation Administration is growing its oversight of United Airways following a string of security incidents. 


Sasha Johnson, United’s vice chairman of company security, wrote in an inside memo to employees on Friday that the provider will see an elevated FAA presence in its operations, which embody a overview of its work processes, manuals and procedures. 

“As you’d count on, we’ve stepped up our interactions with the FAA lately they usually echoed these sentiments,” Johnson wrote within the memo seen by Skift. “They agree that we have to take a good nearer have a look at a number of areas of our operation to make sure we’re doing all we are able to to advertise and drive security compliance.”

Johnson stated the FAA can even pause quite a lot of certification processes for United throughout this time. 


“The FAA’s security assurance system routinely displays all features of an airline’s operation,” the FAA stated in a press release. “It focuses on an airline’s compliance with relevant laws; skill to determine hazards, assess and mitigate threat; and successfully handle security.”

A String of Security Incidents

United skilled a number of security incidents throughout March, together with one the place an exterior panel fell off a Boeing 737-800 that landed in Medford, Oregon. A United Boeing 737-900ER departing from Houston needed to make an emergency touchdown after an engine began emitting flames. And one other flight from Houston, this time a 737 Max, slid off the runway in a separate incident. 

A Boeing 777 additionally misplaced a wheel throughout takeoff from San Francisco. Among the incidents, like mechanical points, have been typical upkeep mishaps.


In an interview with NBC Information on Tuesday, FAA chief Mike Whitaker stated he spoke to United CEO Scott Kirby after the Medford, Oregon incident.

“We’re going to take a look at every one of many incidents and see if we see a sample,” Whitaker stated to NBC Information’ Lester Holt. 

Kirby addressed the spate of incidents in a letter to clients on Monday, saying security is the airline’s highest precedence. He added that the provider would take inventory of its security coaching, which included internet hosting an additional coaching day for pilots and a centralized coaching curriculum for upkeep technicians. 


“Sadly, previously few weeks, our airline has skilled plenty of incidents which can be reminders of the significance of security,” Kirby stated within the message. “Whereas they’re all unrelated, I need you to know that these incidents have our consideration and have sharpened our focus.”

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