A letter from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to Boeing revealed by The Seattle Times raises more difficulties for the planemaker over certification of the 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of its most popular commercial jet.
In the statement, attributed to FAA official Ian Won, the agency asks Boeing for an updated and realistic timeline on the evolution of tests to certify the new plane.
“With regard to the current Boeing Model 737-10 program maturity, the FAA is concerned it will be significantly challenged to meet the directive,” Won said, referring to a new law passed in the US Congress that reformed the aircraft certification process after the issues presented by the 737 MAX.
The law states that starting in December this year, aircraft under development must follow the new, more scrutinized certification standard, which could further delay Boeing’s commercial jet programs.
Fearing further problems, the manufacturer has been pushing for the 737 MAX 10 not to be added to the new lawsuit on the grounds that a delay could cause losses and layoffs at its factories.
In addition to the new version of the 737, Boeing is also experiencing difficulties in approving the return of deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner. But it’s the massive 777X that causes the most concern.
The world’s largest twin-engine passenger jet, the 777-9, is undergoing an intense certification campaign with the aim of being approved by the end of 2023. But the FAA was also skeptical about Boeing’s proposed schedule, which it considers “outdated and no longer reflect the program activities,” according to Reuters.
Boeing plans to deliver the first 777-9s to Lufthansa and Emirates to begin commercial service in 2024.