(Bloomberg) -- US regulators vowed to maintain tougher scrutiny of Boeing Co.’s aircraft production after the planemaker presented a detailed plan to address quality breakdowns in its factories.

A cap on 737 Max production rates imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year will remain in effect until the agency is satisfied Boeing has implemented appropriate reforms to its safety culture, FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker said Thursday. Agency inspectors will continue roaming the planemaker’s facilities, he said. 

“This is about systemic change and there’s a lot of work to be done,” Whitaker told reporters at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “Boeing has laid out their road map and now they need to execute.”

The plan represents a key step in the planemaker’s effort to recover from a crisis sparked by a near-disaster on an airborne 737 Max at the start of this year. Senior FAA officials will check in with Boeing weekly to review the company’s performance and any struggles it faces in implementing the changes, according to the agency.

Boeing leaders including Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun met with Whitaker and other FAA officials for about three hours to discuss the corrective action plan earlier in the day.

The embattled planemaker is working to regain the confidence of customers, regulators and lawmakers after months of bruising publicity involving its 737 Max aircraft, a critical source of revenue. Boeing workers have also flagged other quality issues at its factories, including allegedly skipped or improper inspections of its 787 Dreamliners.

“Our plan is built on the feedback of our employees who know best how to design, build and deliver safe, high-quality airplanes,” Stephanie Pope, the head of Boeing’s commercial airplane business, said in a statement.

The cascading issues have added to the financial strain on Boeing, which is on pace to burn through about $8 billion in cash during the first half of 2024. The board is searching for a successor for Calhoun, who plans to step down as CEO later this year as part of a broader leadership shakeup brought on by the crisis.

While hiking 737 output is crucial to restoring Boeing’s financial health, the company hasn’t “requested relief from the cap and we have not even had preliminary discussions on that point,” Whitaker said.

Boeing shares pared earlier gains after Whitaker’s remarks and were little changed as of 3:51 p.m. in New York. The stock has plunged 34% so far this year, the second worst performance among the members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Traveled Work

Boeing has drastically slowed 737 production and stepped up inspections at supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc., which makes most of the jet’s body. The planemaker has added training sessions and deployed coaches for its workers, many of whom are recent hires. Manager schedules have been cleared so they can spend more time on the factory floor, Pope said in a message to employees.

Boeing has also cracked down on out-of-sequence manufacturing known as traveled work, particularly airframes with missing parts or incomplete work from Spirit. In addition, the company has said it plans to buy back its former division to regain better control over production and quality.

Read More: Boeing Gets 90-Day FAA Ultimatum to Fix Its Quality Woes

The FAA in late February gave Boeing 90 days to craft a framework to address quality control issues that came to light after a door plug blew out of a nearly-new 737 Max in early January. The accident on an Alaska Airlines flight exposed poor workmanship on its marquee narrowbody.

Whitaker said Boeing’s plan includes six distinct performance metrics that the FAA will monitor to gauge the company’s progress. The regulator may also use culture surveys and what agency inspectors are seeing on the ground to inform whether and when to allow the company to boost 737 Max production rates.

Whitaker is slated to brief lawmakers on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 4 about Boeing’s plan, according to a spokesman for the committee.

The Alaska aircraft left Boeing’s factory without four bolts that would have held the fuselage panel in place. The planemaker has said it has no formal log of the work that required opening the door plug — a serious violation of its procedures. Without the written work orders, the company’s quality inspectors wouldn’t have known to check on the repair, or spot the missing bolts.

The FAA also instructed Boeing executives to address problems with its safety culture identified following a yearlong study by a panel of aviation and labor experts. 

In a scathing report, the group detailed a disconnect between senior managers and workers that prevented bad news from traveling upward from the factory floor. Many employees didn’t trust the anonymity of an internal program for reporting safety concerns known as “Speak Up,” calling its effectiveness into question.

(Updates with Boeing statements, shares from seventh paragraph)

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