The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering measures to halt expansion at United Airlines while regulators investigate recent safety issues, according to Bloomberg.

The FAA is looking at taking temporary actions such as restricting the airline from starting new routes and barring customers from flying on newly delivered aircraft, people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified to describe “closed discussions,” told Bloomberg. United planes have experienced a number of issues this month, including a flight out of Houston needing to make an emergency landing after the engine caught fire and a plane out of San Francisco losing a tire after taking off.

“Due to recent safety events, the FAA is increasing oversight of United Airlines to ensure that it is complying with safety regulations; identifying hazards and mitigating risk; and effectively managing safety,” the FAA told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Certification activities in process may be allowed to continue, but future projects may be delayed based on findings from oversight. The FAA will also initiate an evaluation of United Airlines under the provisions of the Certificate Holder Evaluation Process.”

Federal regulators have already suspended the airline’s ability to approve and promote pilots to operate different aircraft models than what they currently operate, two of the people told Bloomberg. In an earlier memo, the FAA said that it would be increasing oversight of United Airlines.

The crackdown follows intense scrutiny into the airline sector as planes from top jet manufacturer Boeing have been found with a number of issues prompting safety concerns. In January, an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a door plug blew off mid-flight, injuring several.

Following the incident, United conducted its own review of its Boeing fleet and discovered loose or discrepant bolts on at least five of its aircraft. A report from the National Transportation Safety Board investigating the incident on Alaska Airlines found that the door plug had no bolts installed when the plane took off.

United deferred the DCNF to the memo it previously released.

Will Kessler on March 23, 2024

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