UNITED STATES: On Wednesday, the union for 15,000 American Airlines pilots declared that it vehemently disagrees with a congressional proposal to continue an exemption from the contemporary cockpit alerting rules for the Boeing 737 MAX 7 and 10.
The 737 MAX 7 and 10 models need to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by the end of December, failing which Boeing will have to comply with additional contemporary cockpit-alerting rules that may severely delay the plane’s introduction into service.
“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,” said Capt. Edward Sicher, president of the Allied Pilots Association.
It is safer, according to Boeing, to have a single universal cockpit alerting system for all 737 variants.
Last week, the chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Republican subcommittee, Senator Roger Wicker, proposed extending the time frame until September 2024 for Boeing to obtain certification for the two new variants. Wicker intends to include the proposal in the annual defence spending bill.
There is currently no indication if Senator Maria Cantwell, the Democratic chair of the committee, will back Wicker’s plan. Cantwell’s office did not respond right away.
The specifications were included in a certification reform measure that was passed in the wake of two 737 MAX disasters that claimed 346 lives and resulted in a 20-month grounding of the best-selling aircraft.
Additionally opposed to extending Boeing’s deadline are the families of numerous victims of the MAX tragedies. In a letter they wrote in July, they expressed their opposition to the extension and claimed Boeing had “bullied Congress.”
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