- Stock Code:
- Date Founded:
- Dave Calhoun
- Headquarters Location:
- Chicago, USA
- Key Product Lines:
- Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Boeing 777, Boeing 787
- Business Type:
While Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 and 9 models are seeing increasingly widespread use around the world, the family’s smallest and largest variants are yet to enter commercial service. This is because the MAX 7 and 10 are still awaiting certification, with the end of the year representing the deadline for this. However, recent developments have cast doubts over the process, with the FAA unimpressed.
An ongoing saga
The situation regarding the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX 10, the largest model in the US manufacturer’s next-generation narrowbody series, has been extensively documented this year. As Simple Flying reported in July, this variant would need to achieve certification by the end of the year to avoid mandated cockpit changes.
However, with progress on the type stalling, Dave Calhoun, the President and CEO of The Boeing Company, threatened to axe the model unless the company was granted a congressional waiver. This would allow the certification process to spill into 2023 without the planemaker having to install a new cockpit system.
Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, later played down the prospects of the manufacturer canceling the MAX 10. Nonetheless, this did raise the question as to whether the MAX 7 might get certified first instead. However, it now seems that this model may also be at risk of missing the deadline.
Time is also running out for the MAX 7. Photo: Jake Hardiman | Simple Flying
Indeed, the certification saga took another turn earlier this month when, as reported by the Seattle Times, the Federal Aviation Administration sent Boeing a letter regarding the process. This detailed dissatisfaction on the part of the FAA, which warned the US planemaker that its documents for the type were inadequate.
This prompted action in Congress, with Senator Roger Wicker having filed an amendment in an attempt to help Boeing get the necessary extension to the deadline to complete the certification work. In line with this, he is also said to have contacted the FAA in order to ascertain an estimate for the amount of extra time required. Regarding the process, a Boeing spokesperson told Simple Flying:
“Our team continues to work transparently with the FAA to provide the information needed to certify the 737-7 and 737-10. At the same time, we are discussing with policymakers the time needed to complete these certifications, following established processes.”
Boeing has argued that commonality between MAX models is the safest way forward. Photo: Jake Hardiman | Simple Flying
What happens next?
These recent developments have once again raised questions regarding what will happen should certification not be achieved on time, given the doubts cast by the FAA. The bottom line is that, without a congressional waiver or extension, Boeing would have to implement an upgraded and redesigned crew alerting system for the outstanding models. The company wishes to avoid this, stating that:
“We have heard from airline customers and aviation safety experts in recent months concurring with our approach to maintain commonality in the flight deck across the 737 MAX family.”
Given Dave Calhoun’s earlier comments, missing the deadline without an extension could even spell the end for the uncertified models. That being said, major MAX 10 orders from the likes of Delta and WestJet since he made these comments have given the type an added layer of security. As such, the best solution would likely be a congressional waiver, that gives Boeing the necessary extension to the deadline to allow it to have the outstanding models certified with a common cockpit.
Source: Seattle Times