We are moving forward!

The court just issued a new scheduling order and rejected the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposal to “process” (but not necessarily release) the relevant 86 documents of 10,000 at 500 pages per month.

Boeing and the FAA by 3/20/20 will now have to identify any documents it claims are exempt from release under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), produce any non exempt records, then the claimed exempt record release will be litigated.

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, FlyersRights.org filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. (1:19-cv-03749-CKK) seeking release of Boeing’s proposed changes to the 737 MAX submitted to the FAA.

FlyersRights.org previously submitted a FOIA request for the records on November 1st seeking expedited treatment, but the FAA failed to respond.

Supporting the lawsuit were seven aviation experts who declared that they need the FAA to release technical details to them and other independent experts in order to be able to evaluate whether the 737 MAX is safe to fly.

The seven aviation experts who have submitted declarations in favor of transparency and independent evaluation are:

  1. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger- Retired airline captain, famous for the “Miracle on the Hudson” landing and aviation safety expert for over four decades
  2. Association of Flight Attendants-CWA- The largest flight attendants union, with nearly 50,000 members at 20 airlines
  3. Michael Neely– Thirty-three years of experience in commercial and military aircraft development programs since 1983, working for Boeing from 1995-2016 serving in Multi-Discipline Engineering and Program Office roles
  4. Javier de Luis– PhD Aeronautical engineer and scientist for 30 years and former lecturer at MIT
  5. Michael Goldfarb– Aviation safety management consultant and former Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Adviser to the FAA Administrator
  6. Gregory Travis– Computer software engineer with over 40 years of experience and pilot with over 30 years of experience
  7. Paul Hudson– President of FlyersRights.org and long-time airline passenger safety advocate

Paul Hudson, President of FlyersRights.org and member of the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee since 1993, explained, “Trust in the FAA and Boeing has been shattered due to astounding revelations of misfeasance and incompetence in originally certifying the 737 MAX aircraft as safe. Accordingly, to regain public confidence, the flying public needs and deserves independent expert evaluations of the changes that Boeing and FAA may deem sufficient to unground the aircraft.”

 

FlyersRights v FAA MAX FOIA Scheduling ORDER 2-18-20 Doc11