Boeing 737 MAX 10 Certification Could Be Delayed
Boeing does not expect to be get FAA approval for the Boeing 737 MAX 10 before next summer. The company hoped to complete the process within the year and have the plane ready to enter service by early 2023.
Boeing faces a December deadline to win regulatory approval for the MAX 10 as well as a smaller variant, the MAX 7. Unless Congress grants an extension, Boeing must meet new modern cockpit-alerting requirements that could significantly delay the approval process.
The new cockpit alerting requirements are part of certification reform legislation that was passed in 2020 after two deadly incidents involving 737 Max jets that killed 346 people and led to a 20-month grounding.
“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,” two sources quoted acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen as saying in a letter to Senator Roger Wicker, as reported by Reuters.
The Boeing 737 MAX 10 will carry up to 230 passengers and is the largest MAX variant. Boeing has already received some big orders for the MAX 10, including from Delta Air Lines, Canada’s WestJet Group and other carriers. There are currently about 850 orders in total.
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.
According to one of the sources quoted by Reuters, Nolen’s letter on Monday said the FAA was unable to provide an estimate as to when certification work will be completed for the MAX 7 or MAX 10.
“We’re committed to diligently and thoroughly reviewing the documentation as it is submitted,” Nolen said. Nolen also wrote that he supports his team “taking the time they need to fully understand” human factor functions, according to the source.