The US Justice Department has issued summons as part of an investigation into certification and marketing of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, the CNN reported on Thursday.
Prosecutors wrote to Boeing a day after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked the agency to look into the aircraft’s certification.
Ms Chao on Tuesday sent a memo to Calvin Scovel, the department’s inspector general, formalising the request.
“Safety is the top priority of the Department, and all of us are saddened by the fatalities resulting from the recent accidents involving two Boeing 737-Max 8 aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia,” Ms Chao wrote.
Boeing requested an amended type certification for 737-Max 8 aircraft in January 2012, and the Federal Aviation Administration issued the certification in March 2017.
“To help inform the Department’s decision making and the public’s understanding, and to assist the FAA in ensuring that its safety procedures are implemented effectively, this is to confirm my request that the Office of Inspector-General proceed with an audit to compile an objective and detailed factual history of the activities that resulted in the certification of the Boeing 737-Max 8 aircraft.”
The plane maker is required to provide information on safety and certification procedures— including training manuals for pilots.
The investigation in the wake of Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 crash that claimed the lives of all 157 aboard but CNN reports that the scrutiny began after the October 2018 Lion Air disaster in Indonesia.
Boeing 737 Max 8’s two air disasters have killed 346 people in less than five months.