EASA hopeful on Boeing 777X certification progress

EASA is hopeful that it, Boeing, and the FAA are coming into an agreement regarding the 777X.
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The director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is hopeful that discussions regarding the flight control systems for the Boeing 777X are progressing positively.

“We are hopefully converging,” said Patrick Ky, the Executive Director of EASA, in an interview with Reuters. While it was not clear where the European regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Boeing had begun to see eye to eye, the outlet’s sources indicated that EASA is scrutinizing the redundancy related to the flight control software of the 777X that would help pilots to control the aircraft in case of a failure.  A decision on whether to include any new safeguards in the aircraft’s flight control software or hardware changes has yet to be made, continued the report.

A bilateral agreement between the US and EU means that the FAA is the primary certification authority (CA), and as such, the CA’s approval “constitutes a valid approval in the validating authority’s system without any technical involvement or approval by the VA”. However, the level of “involvement by the VA is established based on risk-based principles rather than a comprehensive review of compliance findings made by the CA,” the bilateral agreement documentation continued. 

The Boeing 777X first flew on January 15, 2020. Since then, the program has encountered several issues, including an engine failure in October 2022, which temporarily paused the flight test program of the aircraft. Boeing resumed testing the jet in late December 2022.

Deliveries were delayed by the planemaker until 2025 in April 2022. Initially, the first delivery of the 777X was scheduled to take place sometime in 2020, according to a press release announcing the type in November 2013. 

Boeing’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance, Brian West indicated that the company’s forecasted $1.5 billion of abnormal costs has not changed during the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) Investor Conference in November 2022. It booked the sum when it suspended the production of the 777X and announced the deliveries delay in April 2022.

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