FAA head says review has found 'no basis' for grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 jets

FAA head says review has found 'no basis' for grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 jets
© Getty Images

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Tuesday that a safety review has so far found "no basis" for grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 planes despite two fatal crashes in recent months involving the aircraft.

"The FAA continues to review extensively all available data and aggregate safety performance from operators and pilots of the Boeing 737 MAX. Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft," acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell said in a statement. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action," Elwell added. "In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action."

The agency has faced pressure from industry groups and some U.S. lawmakers to ground the 737 Max 8 planes after one of the planes crashed over the weekend in Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board. Another 737 Max 8 jet crashed in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people.

Aviation authorities in several countries have ordered the jets to be temporarily grounded since the crash in Ethiopia.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Tuesday became the latest to ground the planes, describing the move as a "precautionary measure." In doing so, the EU joined the United Kingdom, China, Australia, Indonesia and many airlines in grounding the planes.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday on Fox News that the White House has to "review and see what actually took place."

"This is going to be a process and we’re going to be in constant contact through the Department of Transportation, the FAA, and make a determination at the appropriate time," she added.