U.S. legislators decline Boeing 737 MAX exclusion in their defense bill

U.S. legislators declined Tuesday to extend an annual defense bill. The deadline was approaching and the new standard would have imposed a safety standard to modernize cockpit alerts on two versions of Boeing’s (BA.N), best-selling 737 MAX planes.

American planemaker Boeing has been trying to persuade lawmakers for several months to allow them to waive the deadline. The deadline affects MAX 7/MAX 10 aircrafts. It was set by Congress in 2020 following two deadly 737 MAX accidents that killed 346 people in Indonesia, and Ethiopia.

Although there is a slim chance that the defense bill will be amended before its final passage, Boeing continues to try to persuade lawmakers to include the proposed amendment to a bill to be considered for funding U.S. government operations. However, sources close to the matter suggest the issue could slip to 2023.

Boeing did not comment immediately, but previously argued that it was better to have a single alerting system for all versions.

Congress adopted modern cockpit alert requirements as part of certification reform after the two fatal 737 MAX accidents in 2018 and 2019, which led to the plane being grounded for 20 months.

All planes that are certified as having modern cockpit alarm systems by the Federal Aviation Administration must be equipped after Dec. 27. This could put at risk the MAX 7 or 10 future, and cause significant delays in the deployment of new aircrafts.

Boeing received about 1000 orders for its MAX 7 and MAX 10 products and warned previously that it might have to cancel them if the deadline is not extended.

Billy Nolen, the acting FAA Administrator, stated last month that he does not believe the agency can continue MAX certification work beyond the expiration date without Congress’ approval.

The measure is supported by many lawmakers and pilots’ unions. Maria Cantwell, the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, last week drafted a proposal to allow exceptions to two MAX versions if they have safety enhancements such as an enhanced angle (AOA), and a way to turn off stall warnings or overspeed alerts on all MAX aircraft,” according to the summary that Reuters reviewed.

C.B. is opposed to the families of MAX victims. After hitting a flock, “Sully”, Sullenberger rose to prominence in 2009 when he was a commercial pilot and safely landed the Airbus A320 at New York’s Hudson River.

Nadia Milleron’s daughter Samya Rose Stumo, who died in 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crashes, thanked lawmakers for not including an extension. Milleron stated that the extension does not belong within a bill that must be passed. It is a serious matter, it affects public safety.


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