Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                The Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 were grounded in the U.S. last week after a second deadly crash in the last six months. There has been increased scrutiny on the safety of the planes, which are produced in Renton.

Photo by Haley Ausbun The Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 were grounded in the U.S. last week after a second deadly crash in the last six months. There has been increased scrutiny on the safety of the planes, which are produced in Renton.

Boeing production lines in Renton to halt next week due to previous delays

Spokesperson for Boeing said the previously scheduled days will help with winter storm and supplier delays.

Production lines at the Renton factory will be halted next week for three days in order to catch up with previously delayed work. The factory is still building the 737 NG and 737 MAX planes and delivering the 737 NG, according to Boeing.

A Boeing spokesperson Friday said in a statement that the delay will help them recover from the recent winter storms and supplier delays. The buffer days were previously built into the schedule, according to the Boeing representative.

“While production lines will not pulse forward on those days, work will continue in every area inside and outside the factory,” the statement read.

The Renton Boeing factory has gathered international interest after the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircrafts by nations and airlines, including the FAA. The 737 MAX 8 is assembled in Renton, as well as a quarter of the world’s fleet of commercial jets.

Boeing is under increased scrutiny after a second crash within six months of its 737 MAX aircrafts, killing all on board an Ethiopian Airlines flight. Several agencies are now investigating the safety evaluations of the planes.

Production of the 737 MAX jets in Renton is currently at 52 planes a month. City of Renton works closely with Boeing to help launch the planes from the city’s municipal airport.

In the FAA emergency order, special flight permits are allowed for non-passenger carrying flights to transport the 737 MAX planes to storage, flight testing or maintenance. This means planes could still takeoff at the Renton airport, where the current halt in delivering aircrafts could lead to crowding if not transported to storage.

Manufacturing is the largest employer type in Renton, with 12,000 employees working at the Renton Boeing facility.

The FAA and Boeing both released statements in support of the decision, pending further investigation.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in the statement they plan to deploy safety enhancements and ensure this doesn’t happen again. In a later video and statement Muilenburg released March 18, he mentioned his recent visit to the Renton facility and said he saw both the pride in their work and the “pain we’re all experiencing in light of these tragedies.”

Renton residents have expressed both pride in Boeing and concern in how this could impact the local economy.

In 2011, the Renton Reporter covered Boeing’s decision to build the 737 MAX jets in Renton. The model’s production at this facility ensured a stable workforce for decades for the city. Renton has been a manufacturing site for Boeing for almost 80 years.

The FAA’s statement on the grounding said that the decision was a result of new evidence collected and analyzed at the crash site. They also said the decision was bolstered by newly refined satellite data.

The order includes the two recent crashes as the basis for the order and states that data “indicates some similarities” and “possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents needs to be better understood and addressed.”

The grounding will continue pending further investigation of flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. Boeing also released a statement that a new software enhancement will be deployed across all 737 MAX aircrafts. That is expected in the coming weeks, according to the statement.

Contact reporter Haley Ausbun with story tips at or by phone at 253-678-3148.

More in News

Architectural rendering of a modular congregate shelter. Modular housing is a type of dwelling where the components are manufactured in one location, then assembled at another location. Courtesy of
Modular housing in King County moves ahead

Small, portable housing units are being explored by the county to address homelessness.

Gov. Jay Inslee shakes hands with Dinah Griffey after signing Senate Bill 5649 on April 19. The law revises the statute of limitations for sex crimes. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Hits and misses from Legislature’s 2019 session

New laws target vaccines, sex crimes and daylight savings; losers include sex ed and dwarf tossing bills.

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to protesting nurses on April 24 at the State Capitol Building in Olympia. Inslee indicated he would sign the bill for meal and rest breaks into law if it passes both chambers. Photo by Emma Epperly, WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Lawmakers approve ‘nursing bill’ for mandatory meal and rest breaks

Nurses show up in Olympia to support bill, protest Sen. Walsh’s remarks.

Scott Barden stands next to the pit that will house the newest, and possibly final, section of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Maple Valley. The pit is 120 feet deep, and around another 180 feet will be built on top of it over the next decade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
King County’s landfill is going to get bigger

A ninth cell will be built, extending its life by another decade.

An aircraft is pictured at King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field. Photo courtesy of
King County wants to end deportation flights for ICE

Legal challenge expected from federal government.

King County Council approves landfill extension

The council voted 5-2 approving the Solid Waste plan, with two councilmembers absent.

USPS district manager Darrell Stoke, Janie Hendrix and Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) unveil the plaque honorarily naming the Renton Highlands Post Office as the “James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix Post Office” on Friday, April 19. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Highlands Post Office honors Jimi Hendrix

Postal Service connected Hendrix to family during his Army service.

King County parks levy headed to August primary ballots

Voters will be asked to decide whether to approve the levy on Aug. 6.

Budget adjustment includes $103.9M more in spending

Majority of the spending is leftover expenses from 2018. A city fee schedule change will also impact park shelter costs and building permit costs.

Most Read