Officials Seek to Reassure Public That Flying Is Safe Amid Recent Incidents

After a recent run of mishaps and an investigation into Boeing's practices, the aviation sector's top safety experts are trying to reassure travelers that flying in the U.S. is still safe compared to other modes of travel.

In addition to making headlines, the latest spate of high-profile mishaps, which occurred within weeks of each other, has sparked social media memes and late-night comedians to mock Boeing and the airlines involved, according to the Washington Post.

Flying is still the safest mode of transportation, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Axios at last week's What's Next Summit in Washington D.C. "Every time I board a plane, I know I'm on America's safest mode of transportation, and I know the people who work hard to keep it that way," stated.

On NBC's "Nightly News," FAA chief Michael Whitaker said, “The system is safe, it's still the safest way to travel, but we are working vigilantly to make sure it stays that way. We constantly identify and mitigate risks.”

The incident began in January when an Alaska Airlines door stopper came out, depressurizing the cabin and necessitating an emergency landing. Luckily, this happened shortly after takeoff while the airplane was still low, so no one was hurt. However, it could have been fatal.

Boeing's assembly plant near Seattle and Spirit AeroSystems' Wichita factory had quality control issues, according to the FAA. The agency suspended Boeing 737 MAX production and sought quality assurance fixes.

Boeing stated, “We are taking significant action to strengthen safety and quality at Boeing. One airplane at a time, we demonstrate change and create trust. Increased scrutiny from ourselves, the FAA, and others will improve us.

” Analysts at an investment conference last week heard from business CFO Brian West: “There's changes that need to happen. Certainly, “...We acknowledge that we need to improve upon safety, quality, and conformance.”

After viewing Boeing's factory floor, Whitaker claimed he found the culture to be more focused on producing planes than on quality and safety. “Safety and quality must be the bedrock of everything you do and production secondary,” he stressed.

He claimed the company culture must change to solve its difficulties. He claimed he would shut down production if he thought Boeing was making unsafe planes. He said, “There are not unsafe airplanes leaving that factory.”

Federal inspectors are scrutinizing United Airlines jets after several disasters, including the Alaska Airlines incident. In one week in March, one plane skidded off a runway, another lost a wheel during takeoff, one caught fire, and the newest lost part of its fuselage.

Recent events have raised safety worries and boosted government regulator monitoring, but Americans still want to travel as the warmer months approach. Recent polls show that most U.S. passengers believe flying is safe, even though many on social media are too scared to fly.

Airlines for America (A4A), which represents major airlines, predicts a record 167.1 million U.S. flights in March and April, up six percent from last year.

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