President Trump announced on Wednesday that the U.S. would be issuing an “emergency order to ground all 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9, and planes associated with that line.”
He added that both the FAA and Boeing were “in agreement with the action,” and any planes currently in the air would continue to their destination where they will be grounded.
“Pilots have been notified, airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with this. The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” the President said.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, acting Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) Daniel Elwell and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg were all consulted and agreed with the decision, President Trump said.
The president also called Boeing “an incredible company” that is “working very, very hard” to address issues with the aircraft, but said “the safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern.”
“The United States has the greatest record in the world of aviation and we want to keep it that way. So I didn’t want to take any chances,” he said. “We didn’t have to make this decision today. We could’ve delayed it, we maybe didn’t have to make it at all. But I felt it was important both psychologically and in a lot of other ways.
Most countries in the world had already barred the Boeing 737 Max 8 from its airspace, but until now, the Federal Aviation Administration had been saying that it didn’t have any data to show the jets are unsafe.
Boeing stock fell by approximately 3% in the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s remarks.
In a statement, Boeing said they recommended – out of an abundance of caution – that the FAA temporarily suspend the entire global fleet 371 737 MAX aircraft.
Updated at 3:07 p.m.