The FAA allows Boeing to certify its own design work. That means that, at least to some extent, Boeing now regulates itself. That never seemed like such a great idea to me. After all, isn’t it the FAA’s job to make an independent determination that an aircraft design is safe? Does it make sense for the FAA to allow Boeing — or any manufacturer — to grant FAA certification to itself?
Now, the NTSB seems to agree. In discussing whether the FAA’s "self-certification" policy played a role in Boeing’s 787 battery problems, NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman hinted that maybe the FAA isn’t doing its job:
This is an issue when you have a regulator with limited resources. . .You can delegate some of the action, but you can’t delegate responsibility.”
A regulator that allows a manufacturer to certify its own designs isn’t a regulator at all.