Key lawmaker says he won’t support Boeing 737 MAX 10 safety waiver

A key lawmaker says he opposes giving Boeing more time to certify its MAX 10, pointing to potential and costly delays for the planemaker’s next model of the 737.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, the Oregon Democrat who heads the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in an opening statement at a hearing on Wednesday that he would oppose the extension by Congress of a waiver granted to the MAX 10.

“The Aircraft Certification Bill gave the FAA a two-year grace period to certify aircraft without the Advanced Flight Crew Alerting System, but that grace period should not be extended. “, DeFazio said in prepared remarks.

The implications are huge for Boeing if it has to redesign the MAX 10’s flight control system to add a more modern emergency alert system. This would make the plane different from other existing MAX models, possibly requiring different pilot training for the MAX 10. And such changes can take years of extra work and millions of dollars in cost.

The Federal Aviation Administration wrote to Boeing in March saying it was concerned the company would complete work on the MAX 10 before the deadline imposed by Congress at the end of this year. The MAX 10 is an extended version of the company’s flagship single-aisle model.

Senator Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat and chair of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has expressed willingness to grant Boeing an extension.

Asked about DeFazio’s comments, Cantwell’s spokeswoman Tricia Enright referenced what the senator told The Seattle Times last month. Cantwell then said that if the FAA agreed to an extension, they would too.

“If the FAA says yes, we need another six months, give them six months,” Cantwell said. “If everyone agreed, I would change the date.”

Both Cantwell and DeFazio played significant roles in crafting the original legislation that included the MAX 10 waiver.

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