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FAA says it will handle all approvals for new Max jets

The Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration building, in Washington, D.C. For more than six decades, the Federal Aviation Administration has relied on employees of airplane manufacturers to do government-required safety inspections as planes are being designed or assembled. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
The Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration building, in Washington, D.C. For more than six decades, the Federal Aviation Administration has relied on employees of airplane manufacturers to do government-required safety inspections as planes are being designed or assembled. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Federal safety regulators say they’ll keep full control over approving each new Boeing 737 Max built since the planes were grounded in March.

Some of those approvals are normally handled by Boeing employees, whose work is overseen by federal inspectors.

It’s the latest move by the Federal Aviation Administration to show independence from Boeing. Lawmakers accuse the FAA of surrendering too much authority to Boeing in certifying the Max, which was grounded after two crashes that killed 346 people.

The FAA said it told Boeing on Tuesday that the agency will retain power over safety approvals for all newly manufactured Max planes.

Earlier this month, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson said there’s a lot of pressure to return the Max to service but the agency will take as much time as needed.

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