Boeing’s timeline for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) approval of its 737 Max 10 aircraft may be delayed, according to a report.
The airplane maker is up against a December deadline regarding regulatory approval for the Max 10 and Max 7 aircraft, meaning that approval may not come until next summer, Reuters reported. Certifications for planes require comprehensive paperwork submissions, along with a detailed review of safety assessments by the FAA.
The possible delay also raises concerns about the company’s timeline for deliverables, according to the report. Boeing will need to meet new cockpit alerting requirements during the approval process.
The new cockpit alerting requirements are part of certification reform legislation that was passed in 2020 after two 737 Max crashes killed 346 people and led to a 20-month grounding for the best-selling plane.
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Boeing may not be able to implement modern cockpit-alerting requirements in time, meaning a lengthy process would ensue that would delay the planes’ entry into service.
“With regard to the 737-10, Boeing’s current project plan timeline has the 737-10 receiving an amended type certificate no sooner than summer 2023,” FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a letter, according to Reuters sources, which he addressed to Senate Commerce Committee member Roger Wicker.
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Last week, Wicker proposed extending the deadline for Boeing to win approval for the two new variants until September 2024 and hopes to attach the proposal to an annual defense bill. But it is not clear if Congress would be willing to approve the proposal.
Boeing had recently booked major Max 10 orders from Delta Air Lines, Canada’s WestJet Group and other carriers.
Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun previously said he expected FAA approval for the Max 7 to come this year. He also said there was still a “chance” of the FAA approving the Max 10 before the end of 2022.
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The news comes after Boeing agreed to pay $200 million to settle an SEC investigation related to 737 Max crashes. Then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg allegedly made misleading statements to investors about the accidents.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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