Boeing In New PR Scandal After Empty Booze Bottles Found On New Air Force One Plane
Boeing is facing fresh scandal after empty alcohol bottles were found aboard one of its planes in development at its facility in San Antonio. As worrisome as the prospect of technicians and engineers drinking on the job while constructing an aircraft that will transport people might be, in this case it was one of Boeing’s new Air Force One planes.
The Wall Street Journal cited sources who said, “The discovery of miniature bottles of tequila on one of the future US presidential jets is under investigation by the company.” They added, “It couldn’t be determined where on the plane the bottles were discovered.”
So far a Boeing spokesman has only indicated the company is treating it as a personnel matter, albeit a serious given it’s a highly classified jet and the commander-in-chief will be on board. “This is a personnel matter and for contractual reasons we are unable to comment further,” an official statement said.
Boeing considers its Air Force One jets of the “highest national priority.” The company currently has a $3.9 billion contract with the federal government to deliver two new Air Force One jets.
According to company policy there’s a strict ban on bringing alcohol into Boeing facilities where planes are being manufactured, and especially aboard an aircraft itself.
All employees who work on Air Force One are required to have a security clearance, given they have access to the highly classified specifications for the the plane that will carry the future president and cabinet members (it’s expected the next Air Force One will be ready by 2024 or 2025). WSJ describes that:
In court papers in a supplier dispute earlier this year, Boeing attorneys described the aircraft as “effectively an airborne seat of government” ranking alongside defense programs such as ballistic missiles that carry the “highest national priority.”
Because of this the company says it’s taking the incident “extremely seriously” during its ongoing investigation.
Boeing is also especially sensitive to this new PR scandal given the 737 Max groundings starting in 2019 into 2020 after 346 people died in two crashes. The subsequent FAA-imposed 20-month grounding of the planes was the longest ever of a US airliner type in history.
When the Air Force One jets are housed and on standby, they are guarded at military facilities at Andrews Air Force Base and Quantico with the same level of protection required of a US nuclear missile facility.
Sun, 09/19/2021 – 14:00