According to a report on Thursday, the CEO of Boeing indicated the business would abandon the 737 MAX 10 if regulators don’t approve the aircraft before new crew alerting system rules take effect in December.
The aircraft manufacturer backed up statements made by Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun, who told Aviation Week that considering the company’s other recent struggles, shelving the MAX 10 “is not that dangerous.”
He told the outlet, “The (737-10) is a little bit of an all-or-nothing.”
If the plane is not cleared in time, as Calhoun has previously expressed hope, the issue may be settled by Congress.
The 737 MAX was grounded for more than a year after two tragic incidents involving older models of the aircraft, but the Federal Aviation Administration has been criticised for waiting too long to certify Boeing aircraft.
The FAA was mandated by a bill passed by the US Congress in December 2020 to only certify aircraft that are fitted with a flight crew alerting system that enables pilots to prioritise alerts and advisories activated while the plane is in flight.
The 737 MAX 10’s alerting system is similar to that of older MAX aircraft and does not adhere to the new requirements. Boeing has maintained that the MAX 10’s “commonality” with earlier models of the aircraft is advantageous since it makes the transfer for pilots with prior MAX expertise to the MAX 10 simple.
On December 27, 2022, the system requirement outlined in the 2020 law—which was passed amid criticism of both Boeing and the FAA following the MAX crashes—comes into force, thereby establishing a two-year exception for aircraft currently undergoing certification.
Only new U.S. legislation will allow the threshold to be increased, creating what Aviation Week called a “looming impasse” between Boeing and Congress.
As we have previously stated, we are openly collaborating with the FAA to provide the data they require, and we are committed to exceeding both their and our customers’ expectations in order to certify and deliver the 737-10. “Safety continues to be the fundamental focus of this effort.”
The FAA declined to provide a MAX 10 schedule.
An FAA representative stated that safety “dictates the timeline of certification projects.” We are not permitted to discuss active certification efforts.
The MAX 10 could lose a year’s worth of production, according to Michel Merluzeau, an aviation specialist with AIR Inc. More importantly, he argued, such a move would put rival Airbus in a position to expand its share of the narrow-body aircraft market.
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