According to a Federal Aviation Administration letter released on Monday, Boeing does not expect to receive permission for the 737 Max 10 before next summer, which raises more questions about the company’s delivery schedule.
Boeing has until December to obtain regulatory permission for the Max 10, which is marginally bigger than the 737 Max models currently in use, as well as for the Max 7, a smaller variant. Boeing must satisfy new contemporary cockpit-alerting regulations, which may considerably delay the planes’ introduction into service unless it receives a delay from Congress.
Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen wrote to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker, the top Republican, stating that “Boeing’s current project plan timetable anticipates the 737-10 earning an upgraded type certificate no earlier than summer 2023.”
Wicker’s office, Boeing, and the FAA all declined to comment.
Major Max 10 orders from Delta Air Lines, Canada’s WestJet Group, and other airlines have recently been placed with Boeing.
Wicker suggested last week that Boeing be given until September 2024 to obtain approval for the two new variants. He intends to include the proposal in a yearly defence bill. But it’s unclear whether Congress would be open to approving the plan.
The new cockpit alerting criteria were included in certification reform legislation that was passed in 2020 as a result of two 737 Max disasters that claimed 346 lives and caused the best-selling aircraft to be grounded for 20 months.
The FAA must analyse substantial paperwork submissions and safety analyses in-depth in order to certify a plane.
The FAA voiced worries that Boeing wouldn’t be able to obtain certification for the Max 7 this year in a letter to Boeing dated September 19 that was made public last week. According to Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun, Boeing must first obtain certification for the Max 7 because some Max 7 data is required for Max 10 approval.
The letter further stated that if Boeing wanted to reach the December deadline, it needed to submit any outstanding paperwork by mid-September because it had not yet finished all of the essential assessments.
“Boeing is focused on achieving all regulatory criteria to certify the 737-7 and 737-10. Boeing has maintained that it is safer to have one universal cockpit warning system for all models of the 737.”Boeing stated
One of the sources claims that Nolen’s letter from Monday stated that the FAA was unable to provide a timeline for when the certification work for the Max 7 or Max 10 will be finished.
Nolen was cited as adding, “We’re dedicated to attentively and thoroughly analysing the documentation as it is submitted.”
Nolen also stated that he is in favour of his team “taking the time they need to properly grasp” human factor operations.
Last month, Calhoun told reporters that “he believed the FAA would approve the Max 7 this year and that there was still a chance that the Max 10 would receive clearance before the year’s end.”
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