New legislation could extend Boeing MAX 7, MAX 10 certification deadline

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A United States Senator has drafted new legislation proposing an extension of the certification deadline for the Boeing 737 MAX 7 and the 737 MAX 10. 

If accepted, the new proposal drawn up by the US Senator for Washington Maria Cantwell could make an exception for Boeing and remove the deadline in a 2020 law following which the manufacturer could be required to implement substantial changes on the flight crew alerting system on its both MAX 7 and MAX 10 planes before it gets certified for serving commercial passenger flights.   

Following the terms of the proposal, Boeing is required to make flight safety improvements related to an enhanced angle of attack (AOA) on both aircraft models as well as to “shut off stall warnings and overspeed alerts”, according to the proposal summary seen by Reuters on November 30, 2022.  

As the proposal applies to all variants in the Boeing 737 MAX family, the manufacturer is also being asked to cover the costs of the retrofit for all existing MAX planes in service and complete the work within two or three years. The proposal will remove the certification deadline for two MAX models, the Senator was quoted as saying by The Seattle Times

Earlier in November 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reaffirmed that the Boeing 737 MAX-7, the smallest variant in the 737 MAX family, would not be certified in 2022, with the aircraft now potentially getting the stamp of approval in 2023.  

At the time the FAA’s acting administrator Billy Nolen said that “it did not appear” that the plane would get its certification by the end of the year. Boeing had previously hoped the 737 MAX-7 would be approved by the FAA in 2022. 

Following the new law, from December 31, 2022, all planes must be fitted with modern alert systems that comply with the Aircraft Certification, Safety and Accountability Act (ACSAA). Unless the FAA agrees to the exemption, it is likely that both the 737 MAX 7 and the 737 MAX 10 will encounter significant delays. 


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