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B737 MAX Production to be Significantly Interrupted by Regulators

written by Christian Boo Boucousis | December 9, 2019

B737 MAX aircraft at Boeing’s Renton Production Facility (Airlinerwatch)

Boeing says the approval delays by regulators could cause the manufacturer to suspend the production of the MAX jets.

In its letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Boeing referred the size of the current 737 MAX order backlog and difficulties to keep up with the planned delivery dates due to the ongoing uncertainty.

Boeing was expecting the U.S Federal Aviation Administration to lift the flight ban for its MAX jets around mid-December. But recent statements from the Agency revealed that the U.S. regulator’s review of revised training requirements could go beyond December 2019.

During the Duba Air Show last month, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson said that the Agency did not finish its audits on the aircraft’s stall prevention system known as MCAS.

737 MAX’s MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) is linked to two recent crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed 346 people.

EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), Transport Canada, and CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) already declared that that would conduct their own reviews for the recertification of the aircraft.

Indonesia’s civil aviation authority said it would allow the aircraft to return to service after all major regulators approve the changes made to the system and pilot training.

DGCA (The Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India) also announced that it was considering setting an experience threshold for pilots who will fly the 737 MAX jets of the Indian operators.


The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling aircraft in the history of Boeing, The aircraft has been grounded worldwide since March 13, after the second fatal crash in Ethiopia.

Boeing has so far recorded more than 5000 orders for its 737 MAX series jets. The manufacturer recently unveiled the 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of the series that is currently under airworthiness campaign.

Last month in Dubai Air Show, Boeing has received new 737 MAX orders after a long time. The planemaker registered 60 firm orders from three customers.


  • Arthur Babbington


    So we wait for a formal statement from CASA regarding the acceptance of the 737 Max re-certification. Will the rubber stamp mentality prevail or will we do as other regulatory bodies have announced in carrying out independent reviews? The FAA have had a wake-up call and are now doing the job they should have done originally. So should CASA. From a retired Airworthiness Surveyor.

  • Ray W


    Yes it needs to be done for the sake of commercial aviation.
    But the relevant point is make damn sure your not putting some mid 20’s pilot from an academy in charge of an aircraft when his experience and time at the wheel is not commensurate with experience required.
    Often pilots in these areas are barely old enough to shave and have minimal hours compared to world wide standards.
    I have seen it first hand. Doesn’t mean they are incompetent but also doesn;t mean 4 bars means you are experienced enough to be in command of a modern aircraft. Thats my opinion of course not necessarily echoed by all.

  • DavidN


    Ray W
    Right on the money! Despite the known previous MCAS flaws, (fail Boeing!) I still say a properly trained pilot would have dealt with the issues on both flights. With well over 10,000 hours in command on 737’s I think I have a fair idea of what I’m saying. I’d be happy to jump in a Max in a heartbeat if I was flying it, not so sure with some of these foreign pilots, but equally I wouldn’t be happy with them flying anything else either including of course Airbuses.

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