DALLAS – The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 15,000 American Airlines (AA) pilots, has expressed opposition to the extension of the Boeing 737-7 and -10 equipment exemption. Both 737 MAX aircraft must be certified before the end of the year, or Boeing will need to implement new cockpit-alerting requirements.
APA President Capt. Edward Sicher said, “Boeing needs to proceed with installing modern crew alerting systems on these aircraft to mitigate pilot startle effect and confusion during complex, compound system malfunctions. Once these systems are installed and pilots have been properly trained on them, our crews will be better able to identify system failures and prioritize corrective actions that could save lives.”
Capt. Edward Sicher continued, “Pilots must have the tools we need to keep our passengers safe. By equipping these aircraft with modern crew alerting systems, Boeing can maintain a strong order book for them, which will in turn protect the jobs of the thousands of hard-working men and women who build the airplanes. Doing so will also help Boeing to continue rebuilding public trust.”
Boeing has said keeping all MAX variants similar to cockpit alerting systems is safer. The company “is focused on meeting all regulatory requirements to certify the 737-7 and 737-10.” Boeing does not anticipate certification of the largest 737 MAX variant before next summer.
The FAA had asked Boeing for all remaining System Safety Assessments (SSAs) by mid-September and Boeing responded that they are hard at work completing the required SSAs. Dave Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO, predicts the 737-7 will win approval this year.
Senator Roger Wicker proposed extending the deadline last week until September 2024. No indication has been given if Wicker’s proposal will win the support of other lawmakers. The APA’s opposition could lead to key lawmakers opposing the extension as well.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Monday that Boeing did not anticipate winning approval for the 737-10 variant before next summer, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) letter that escalates concerns about the manufacturer’s timeline for deliveries.
Featured image: ACA B38M at YVR | Boeing 737-8 MAX. Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways