March 10, 2021

Chairs DeFazio and Larsen Mark Anniversary of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Crash

Washington, DC – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-WA) observed the second anniversary of the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. All 157 people onboard died when the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. It was the second crash of a Boeing 737 MAX within a five-month span. In October 2018, Lion Air flight 610 crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers and crew in strikingly similar circumstances. The ET302 crash on March 10, 2019, prompted Chairs DeFazio and Larsen to launch an investigation into the design, development, and certification of the 737 MAX aircraft, which revealed repeated and serious failures by both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Today my thoughts are with the families and friends of the 346 victims of the two deadly crashes who have suffered immeasurable grief in recent years,” Chair DeFazio said. “It was with them in mind that we launched our Committee’s investigation nearly two years ago, as it became clear the second crash was no coincidence and that we needed answers as to what went wrong. That led to the most significant investigation our Committee has undertaken in recent history and, later, passage of the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act, one of the most comprehensive aviation safety bills in the modern era. I thank the families for being incredible advocates for a better, safer aviation system for all. I will continue to push the FAA to promptly implement our legislation to make sure a fatally-flawed plane is never again put into airline service.”

“Today marks the second anniversary of the tragic Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash that claimed the lives of 157 passengers and crew members,” Chair Larsen said. “My sincerest condolences go out to the victims’ families and loved ones on this difficult day. I will continue to keep the victims of this tragedy and Lion Air Flight 610 and their families at the forefront as the Committee oversees implementation of aircraft certification reform to improve aviation safety and reduce the likelihood of tragedies like these from happening again.”     


As part of DeFazio and Larsen’s 18-month investigation, the Committee held five public hearings with more than 20 witnesses; sent nearly two dozen oversight letters; obtained an estimated 600,000 pages of documents from Boeing, the FAA, and others; received information and insight from former and current employees who contacted the Committee directly through the Committee’s whistleblower link; and interviewed dozens of current and former Boeing and FAA employees.

Read the Committee’s final report here.

Learn about the Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act —which passed Congress and was signed into law in December 2020—here