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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Boeing Inspectors Return as Government Shutdown Continues

By Woodrow Bellamy III 

FAA certification workers responsible for providing regulatory approval for aircraft manufactured at Boeing's facility in South Carolina returned to work Tuesday, the company confirmed in a statement to Avionics Magazine on Wednesday.

The workers returned after being furloughed for nearly a week due to the government shutdown, which entered its ninth day Wednesday. FAA has recalled more than 800 furloughed employees, including those responsible for clearing airplanes produced for delivery at Boeing's plant in Charleston, S.C., which manufactures its flagship 787 family aircraft.

Boeing isn't seeing as big of an impact from the government shutdown as lower-tier manufacturers and suppliers are, because the company has FAA Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) for its airframe factories based in Washington. The authorization allows the company to perform FAA certification duties for aircraft with pre-approved configurations.

A spokesman for the company confirmed that although workers at the FAA Aircraft Registry office in Oklahoma City remain furloughed, Boeing has delivered several planes since the shutdown began to customers based in the U.S. and abroad.

In contrast, officials from general aviation trade groups such as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) have stated that the closing of FAA's registry office is extremely damaging to manufacturers who have deliveries that need to be cleared by FAA in order to be completed. GAMA estimates that its member companies stand to lose $1.38 billion in near term deliveries that would be halted if the shutdown persists through the first half of October.

Related: FAA Recalls 800 Furloughed Workers

 

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