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Criticism of FAA mounts as other nations ground Boeing jets

A ground crew walks near a Boeing 737 Max 8 plane operated by Shanghai Airlines parked on the tarmac at Hongqiao airport in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. U.S. aviation experts on Tuesday joined the investigation into the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that killed 157 people, as a growing number of airlines grounded the new Boeing plane involved in the crash. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is facing mounting criticism for backing the airworthiness of Boeing’s 737 Max jets as the number of countries that have grounded the aircraft grows in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The rest of the world typically takes it cues from the FAA, long considered the world’s gold standard for aircraft safety. Yet other aviation safety regulators, including in the European Union and China, aren’t waiting for the FAA to act. The Ethiopian disaster occurred just five months after the deadly crash of another new Boeing 737 Max 8 in Indonesia.

Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says he’s concerned that international aviation regulators are providing more certainty to the flying public than the FAA.

Richard Lardner And Tom Krisher, The Associated Press