Months After Initial FOIA Requests from Accountable.US, Department of Transportation Has Failed to Supply Records of Its Communications with Boeing after Fatal 737 Max Crashes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following widespread reports of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) failed oversight of the aviation giant Boeing under Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, government watchdog Accountable.US filed suit today to obtain records of communications between Boeing and the Department of Transportation after the second deadly crash of a 737 MAX in March 2019.

In December, Accountable.US sent four Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to these communications but have yet to receive any records in response.

“Safety should be the Department of Transportation’s top priority, but under Secretary Chao, it looks more and more like the Federal Aviation Administration protected Boeing’s interests over people’s lives,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Americans have a right to know if the Trump administration failed to initially ground Boeing’s 737 MAX in order to protect the company’s bottom line. Hundreds of people died in the fatal 737 MAX crashes. We deserve answers.”

Following the March 10, 2019 crash of a Boeing 737 MAX-8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines, the Trump administration waited three days to ground the Boeing 737 MAX. By that time, Australia, Canada, China, Ethiopian Airlines, the European Union, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom had all already grounded their 737 MAX aircraft.

The lawsuit filing is available here.

# # #

Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes corruption across all levels of government.