Archived photo/courtesy of Boeing

Archived photo/courtesy of Boeing

U.S. is now grounding Renton-made 737 MAX 8 and 9; Boeing supports decision

Update: The decision does not affect Renton production lines.

Update: FAA has published their emergency order, effective immediately, to ground the models. It’s available here.

President Donald Trump has issued grounding of 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircrafts, following a deadly crash in Ethiopia on March 9 that killed all 157 people on board. The FAA and Boeing have now both released statements in support of the decision, pending further investigation.

The 737 MAX 8 is assembled in Renton, as well as a quarter of the world’s fleet of commercial jets. This year, Boeing was set to produce 57 planes a month from Renton.

The temporary grounding will not have any change in 737 MAX production in Renton, according to a spokesperson at Boeing. Manufacturing is the largest employer in Renton, with 12,000 employees working at the Renton Boeing facility as of 2017.

Boeing announced its support for the decision Wednesday to ground the planes, while maintaining the company is confident in the 737 MAX. The company said the decision was out of an abundance of caution to “reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety.”

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in the statement that the company plans to deploy safety enhancements and ensure this doesn’t happen again.

The FAA’s statement on the grounding said the decision was a result of new evidence collected and analyzed at the crash site. The FAA also said the decision was bolstered by newly refined satellite data.

Any current flights were permitted to proceed and complete their landing, but no takeoffs are allowed, according to the official emergency order.

The order includes the two recent crashes as the basis for the order and states that data “indicates some similarities” and “possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents needs to be better understood and addressed.”

The full Boeing statement is available here:

The FAA statement is here:

The grounding will continue pending further investigation of flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.

On Wednesday morning, Canada joined the list of nations and companies grounding the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts, following the deadly crash.

The Canadian minister of transport Marc Garneau said they received new data this morning that helped make the decision. The European Union, China and India all grounded the 737 MAX 8 Tuesday. Satellite data showed the accident might be similar to a crash in October that killed 189 people.

On March 12, both FAA and Boeing released statements that there was not data that provided basis for grounding the aircraft.

Boeing also released a statement March 11 that a new software enhancement will be deployed across all 737 MAX aircrafts. That is expected in the coming weeks, according to the statement.

The Dallas News reported Tuesday that pilots in the U.S. had expressed concerns with the plane, specifically mentioning the safety mechanism that has been included in data related to the October crash.

Boeing tests the 737 MAX out of the Renton airport. The municipal airport, also known as Scott Clayton Field, is currently taking steps to modify the safety zone in compliance with regulations based on the number of large aircraft that use the runway.

There are several businesses and residences that currently sit within the zone that the FAA would recommend be cleared for potential take-off and landing issues.

Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA) released a responce saying that “not only should the 737 MAX be grounded, but also that there must be a rigorous investigation into why the aircraft, which has critical safety systems that did not exist on prior models, was certified without requiring additional pilot training.”

Larsen’s statement also said that the Subcommittee on Aviation will “get to the bottom of the FAA’s decision-making process.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Sightseers at a Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa on Feb. 19, 2020. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
25 COVID cases linked to Salish Lodge

Pubic Health is urging anyone who visited the lodge to monitor for symptoms or get tested.

The nose of the 500th 787 Dreamliner at the assembly plant in Everett on Sept. 21, 2016. (Kevin Clark / Herald, file)
Report: Boeing will end 787 Dreamliner production in Everett

Boeing declined comment on a Wall Street Journal story saying the passenger jet’s assembly will move to South Carolina.

Stock photo
5th Legislative District: Ramos, Moninski talk business and economy

The candidates squared off at an Issaquah Chamber of Commerce forum.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Surge in consumer spending eases state budget challenges

A jump in tax collections cuts a projected $9 billion shortfall in half, acccording to new forecast.

Issaquah plans to bring back some in-person learning

Kindergarten and first grade could return for some in-person learning by Oct. 15

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.

Photo courtesy of Mayor Mary Lou Pauly.
Mayor writes letter for Issaquah residents—100 years from now

The letter describes life in a pandemic, and the plans for future Issaquah

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Massive wildfires incinerate WA

All state Department of Natural Resources lands were closed to recreational activities on Sept. 8.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2

The office space for an additional 10,000 jobs, making it 25,000 coming to downtown, is expected to complete in 2023.