United Airlines Faces Closer F.A.A. Scrutiny After Safety Incidents

The Federal Aviation Administration will scrutinize United Airlines’ operations more closely in coming weeks after a spate of recent safety incidents, the airline told employees in a memo on Friday.

“We will begin to see more of an F.A.A. presence in our operation as they begin to review some of our work processes, manuals and facilities,” Sasha Johnson, a vice president of corporate safety at the airline, said in the memo. “We welcome their engagement and are very open to hear from them about 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 has said were unrelated, a plane veered off a runway, another arrived at its destination with a panel missing from its body, another lost a tire after takeoff and an engine caught fire after ingesting plastic wrapping.

The F.A.A. said in a statement on Friday that it “routinely” monitored airline operations. The agency said it “focuses on an airline’s compliance with applicable regulations; ability to identify hazards, assess and mitigate risk; and effectively manage safety.”

In the United memo, Ms. Johnson said the agency would “also pause a variety of certification activities for a period of time.” The F.A.A. said in a statement on Saturday that certification processes already underway might be allowed to continue, but that future ones could be delayed, depending on what it found. The agency oversees and approves a wide range of airline activities, such as pilot training or new flight routes.

United’s chief executive, Scott Kirby, sought to reassure customers this week 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 is reviewing the details of each case to understand what happened and using those insights to inform our safety training and procedures across all employee groups.”

Experts caution against drawing sweeping conclusions from the episodes, which are concerning but are common in aviation and often unreported by the media.

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