U.S. aviation regulators warned Boeing that its 737 Max 7 model is at risk of missing a key deadline later this year, potentially forcing the planemaker to carry out an expensive and complex redesign of the aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s chief of aircraft certification told Boeing in a Sept. 19 letter that the agency had approved less than 10% of the required safety assessments submitted by the company for the Max 7. Another 70% of the documents are in “various stages of review and revision,” according to the letter, which was viewed by Bloomberg.
Boeing is facing a congressionally imposed deadline at the end of this year on its Max 7 and Max 10 variations of the 737 family. If it doesn’t get both planes certified by then, it must redesign their emergency warning systems, which lawmakers required as a result of two crashes of the Max 8.
The letter from Lirio Liu, FAA’s executive director of aircraft certification, is the most significant indication that the Max 7 is in danger of not meeting that deadline. The agency had earlier warned about the schedule of the Max 10.
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