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United Airlines says FAA is increasing scrutiny after series of incidents

United Airlines says the Federal Aviation Administration has stepped up its oversight of thee carrier following a series of safety-related incidents this month. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
United Airlines says the Federal Aviation Administration has stepped up its oversight of thee carrier following a series of safety-related incidents this month. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

March 23 (UPI) — United Airlines says the Federal Aviation Administration is increasing its oversight of the carrier following several incidents involving its passenger aircraft during the past month.

Sasha Johnson, United Airlines vice president of corporate safety, said in a statement to airline employees issued Friday that the increased presence of federal regulators will be noticeable.

“The number of safety-related events in recent weeks have rightfully caused us to pause and evaluate whether there is anything we can and should do differently,” she wrote.

“Over the next several weeks, we will begin to see more of an FAA presence in our operation as they begin to review some of our work processes, manuals and facilities. “We welcome their engagement and are very open to hear from them about what they find and their perspective on things we may need to change to make us even safer,” Johnson added.

The added scrutiny comes after the airline experienced nearly a dozen safety-related incidents in the past month, including a blown tire on one flight out of Colorado, another tire falling from another flight in San Francisco and an aircraft that rolled off the runway and became stuck in the grass at the Houston airport on March 8.

The incidents have now caused the FAA to more closely monitor safety procedures at United. Most of the aircraft in its fleet are Boeing models, but the company is considering buying aircraft from Airbus, which is Boeing’s competitor in Europe, CNN reported.

Johnson said the FAA temporarily will pause several certification activities while monitoring operations at United.

The FAA’s “safety assurance system routinely monitors aspects of an airline’s operation. It focuses on an airline’s compliance with applicable regulations, ability to identify hazards, assess and mitigate risk, and effectively manage safety,” agency officials said in a statement to media outlets.

The agency didn’t provide a timeline for the safety review at United Airlines.

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