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United Airlines faces increased FAA scrutiny after safety incidents

The Federal Aviation Administration will take a closer look at United Airlines’ operations in the coming weeks after a wave of recent security incidentsthe airline told employees in a memo Friday.

“We will begin to see a greater presence of the FAA in our operations as they begin to review some of our work processes, manuals and facilities,” said Sasha Johnson, vice president of corporate security for the airline, in the note. “We appreciate their engagement and are very open to their feedback on what they find and their perspective on things we may need to change to make us even safer.”

In some of the incidents, which United said were unrelated, one plane left the runway, another arrived at its destination with a missing panel on its body, another lost a tire after takeoff and an engine crashed. caught fire after ingesting plastic packaging.

The FAA said in a statement that it “regularly” monitors airline operations. The agency said it “focuses on an airline’s compliance with applicable regulations; ability to identify hazards, assess and mitigate risks; and effectively manage security.

In United’s memo, Ms. Johnson said the agency would also “suspend various certification activities for a period of time.”

United Chief Executive Scott Kirby this week sought to reassure customers that the airline was taking safety seriously after the incidents.

“I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus,” he said in an email to customers. “Our team reviews the details of each case to understand what happened and uses that information to inform our training and safety procedures for all employee groups.”

Experts caution against drawing sweeping conclusions from these episodes, which are concerning but common in the aviation sector and often not reported by the media.

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