LONDON – The Airlines Pilots Association (APA) which represents more than 15,000 pilots at American Airlines, has expressed their strong opposition to any extension being granted to Boeing over the 737-7 and 737-10 MAX aircraft certification, which was announced earlier this week would likely be pushed back to 2023.
APA Sees No Room For Movement
The regulatory period runs out in December of this year, but there has been a case made to have this extended into 2023, as Boeing must first meet the requirements of the Cockpit alerting systems in the new aircraft, a step that has been brought in to help ensure that two deadly crashes involving 737-8 MAX aircraft can never happen again.
Capt. Edward Sicher, APA President 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.”
Following these incidents though, Boeing took an aggressive stance during the investigation periods, blaming the pilots for their lack of understanding of the MCAS system, something which we now also know was something that the U.S Manufacturer had failed to problem inform both airlines and pilots about, which lead to improper training and understanding of the system.
“We oppose any extension of the exemption and don’t agree with Boeing’s claim that pilots could become confused when moving from an airplane without the modern alert system to one that is equipped with it. Nothing could be further from our flight deck reality,” Capt. Sicher said.
“Consider the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 – they’re substantially different airplanes, yet operate under a single certificate. Pilots have routinely flown both on the same day without any confusion.”
“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 Still Suffers From MAX Crashes
It is completely understandable that the FAA remains reluctant to allow Boeing to have approval for its two new MAX variants after what happened with the MAX 8 which saw 346 people die in two fatal crashes and led to a 20-month-long grounding of the best-selling next-generation aircraft.
Just last month we saw the U.S manufacturer has been ordered to pay out more than 200 million dollars for its misleading statements during the investigations of the Lion Air and Ethiopian flights which crashed following a malfunction with the aircraft’s MCAS system. Which has many people saying that the fine is not nearly high or expensive enough for the damage and hurt the company caused with its lies and intentions to try to cover up the problems.
It is not just the 737 MAX which has seen the wrath of the FAA either, with Boeing also being restricted on the production and delivery of its 787 Dreamliner projects, which just over one month ago were given the approval to begin deliveries again.
The question next becomes how much longer does Boeing persist with the 737-10 MAX which while having received a good order log, will now likely not be certified before the A321XLR, something which something that may cause airlines to reassess their orders and fleet outlooks moving forward.