Boeing (NYSE: BA) and its approved suppliers, C&D Aerospace and Aim Aviation, delivered more than 4,300 enhanced security flight deck door kits to 76 airlines, enabling the airlines to meet today's FAA-mandated installation deadline for all aircraft serving U.S. airports.
The deliveries culminate an 18-month, industry-wide effort to design, certify, manufacture and install the doors throughout the fleet. Working-together teams comprising the entire industry -- FAA, airlines, pilots and manufacturers -- began meeting to develop standards for the doors in October 2001. In January 2002, the FAA mandated that the entire U.S.-registered fleet must meet the standards of these teams by installing doors that incorporate greatly increased blunt-force, ballistics and small-explosives resistance by today's deadline.
Once the standards were in hand, Boeing designated its Interior Center of Excellence in Everett, Wash., to produce doors for the 747, 767 and 777; and C&D Aerospace to produce Boeing-approved doors for the 727, 737, 757, DC-9, MD-80, and DC-10/MD-11 lines of airplanes.
In January, Boeing selected Aim Aviation of Renton, Wash., as its approved supplier for doors for the 717. Design and certification involved high levels of effort from a wide spectrum of Boeing participants including flight-deck engineers and fabrication and testing employees. These participants worked with Boeing-approved suppliers to help with testing and detail; assist customers during the certification process; and coordinate with FAA and international regulators to ensure full adherence to standards.
The Interiors Center of Excellence has delivered more than 1,500 kits, while C&D has delivered more than 4,000 kits, 2,700 of which were for Boeing aircraft, and Aim about 85.
Aviation Week recently recognized the team of Boeing, C&D Aerospace of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Aim Aviation by naming them the 2003 recipient of the Charles Ryan Award. The award recognizes companies that have done the most in the preceding year to find new ways to improve operations and service, profits, efficiency and effectiveness, while sustaining or improving safety and technical proficiency. Aviation Week will present the award at its MRO Conference & Exhibition in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., April 15.
"Meeting the deadline for strengthening cockpit doors on commercial aircraft was truly a collaborative effort between government and industry," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "I am proud to be part of an industry that puts passenger safety first."
Jerry Mack, Boeing vice president of Government/Industry Technical Liaison for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the company was proud to be able to help customers in the effort.
"Thousands of Boeing employees, along with our suppliers and customers, worked countless hours to achieve a very difficult goal," Mack said. "They truly committed themselves to making our customers successful and enhancing the security of the flying public."