Boeing’s schedule for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of its 737 Max 10 aircraft could be delayed, according to a report.
The planemaker faces a December deadline for regulatory certification for the Max 10 and Max 7 planes, meaning certification may not come until next summer, Reuters reported. Aircraft certifications require extensive documentation and a detailed review of the FAA’s safety ratings.
The potential delay also raises concerns about the company’s delivery schedule, according to the report. Boeing must comply with new cockpit warning requirements during the approval process.
The new cockpit warning requirements are part of certification reform legislation passed in 2020 after two 737 Max crashes killed 346 people and resulted in a 20-month grounding of the best-selling aircraft.
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Boeing may not be able to implement modern cockpit warning requirements in a timely manner, meaning a lengthy process would ensue, delaying the aircraft’s entry into service.
“Regarding the 737-10, Boeing’s current project plan calls for the 737-10 to receive an amended type certificate no earlier than summer 2023,” FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a letter he sent to the Senate, according to Reuters sources judged Trade Committee member Roger Wicker.
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Last week, Wicker proposed extending the deadline for Boeing to receive certification for the two new variants to September 2024, and hopes to attach the proposal to an annual defense bill. However, it is not clear if Congress would be willing to approve the proposal.
Boeing had recently booked major orders for Max 10s from Delta Air Lines, Canada’s WestJet Group and other airlines.
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun previously said he expects FAA certification for the Max 7 to come later this year. He also said there was still a “chance” that the FAA would approve 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. The then CEO Dennis Muilenburg is said to have made misleading statements to investors about the accidents.
Reuters contributed to this report.