Pilots union opposes exemptions in certification of new 737 MAX variants

In a decision that represents a blow to Boeing, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), a union that represents the approximately 15,000 American Airlines pilots, opposed any extension of the deadline that would allow the MAX 7 and MAX 10 models to enter service. commercial without a redesign of the cockpit warning system.

On January 1, the Aircraft Certification, Safety and Liability Act (ACSAA) will come into force, which will tighten the conditions required to obtain the type certificate for a new aircraft. The regulations, passed in 2020, came in response to controversy surrounding the nature of the process that previously allowed approval of the MAX 8 and MAX 9 variants.

However, recalls the Aviacionline website, the APA’s position increases tension in Boeing’s race against time, which seeks to make the US Congress extend the deadline for obtaining certification for both variants.

“U.S. pilots explicitly rejected Boeing’s argument that keeping the system the same as previous 737 models would avoid potential pilot confusion and therefore be safer.” said Dominic Gates, a journalist covering the manufacturer’s business.

“Boeing needs to proceed with installing state-of-the-art crew warning systems on these aircraft to mitigate the effect of surprise and pilot confusion during complex and composite systems failures.”said Edward Sicher, captain of American Airlines and president of the union. “Once these systems are in place and pilots have been properly trained in them, our teams will be better able to identify system failures and prioritize corrective actions that can save lives”he added.

On the other hand, the APA’s top manager stressed that the installation of new warning systems would help the manufacturer to “continue to rebuild public trust”, severely affected by the two crashes involving 737 MAX 8 aircraft in October 2018 and March 2018. 2019. Families of victims of both also strongly opposed the extension through a letter sent to Congress last July.

The union’s position is also supported by the fact that the incorporation of the new mechanisms would allow “keep a solid order backlog” for 737 MAX family units.

Last week, Republican Senator Roger Wicker introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that, if passed, would grant the extension Boeing is seeking. Otherwise, the manufacturer will have to redesign the variants to meet the new requirements.

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