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FAA changing oversight of aircraft construction amid 737 Max scrutiny: report

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this summer plans to change how it oversees aircraft construction, an official will say Wednesday before a Senate subcommittee, according to The Associated Press.

The plans will be revealed during a hearing scheduled Wednesday in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee's aviation subcommittee that will examine FAA oversight and how airlines inspect their jets, according to the AP.

According to prepared testimony obtained by the AP, Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel III will reveal that the FAA is planning by July to create new evaluation requirements for training and airline self-audits. 

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“While revamping FAA’s oversight process will be an important step, continued management attention will be key to ensure the agency identifies and monitors the highest-risk areas of aircraft certification,” Scovel wrote in the prepared remarks, per the AP. 

Wednesday's hearing is being held amid concern following two deadly crashes in recent months involving Boeing aircraft. An Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month left 157 people dead, and a Lion Air crash in October left 189 dead. Both crashes involved Boeing's new 737 Max 8 jets and questions have been raised about the FAA's approval of the aircraft's construction. 

Acting FAA head Daniel Elwell on Wednesday will defend the FAA's decision to certify the 737 Max, according to prepared testimony obtained by the AP.

Elwell will also reportedly defend the FAA's initial delay in grounding the 737 Max planes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash. The U.S. was the last of the major countries around the world to ground the jets.