The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) acting administrator, Billy Nolen, said that it does not seem likely that Boeing will be able to certify the 737 MAX 7 by the end of the year.
The planemaker has until December 27th to approve the new version to operate commercially in the US without having to comply with new safety legislation passed by Congress.
Boeing itself had already stated that it expects to certify the aircraft between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, therefore, within the validity of the new law.
However, the company is betting that it will be able to obtain an exception for both the 737 MAX 7 and the 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of the jet, with capacity for up to 230 passengers.
The MAX 10 is even further behind schedule and is only expected to enter service from 2024.
So far, attempts to change the law have been unsuccessful. The new legislation was approved in the wake of the two fatal accidents with the 737 MAX 8 that killed 346 people.
Under the new rules, it will be necessary to adopt a more efficient crew alert system on all commercial aircraft that are certified from 2023 onwards.