While it’s good news that Boeing expects to get regulatory approval this year on their new Boeing 737 Max planes, it’s not so good that it may take awhile for this to happen.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told Boeing that it has plans to inspect each 737 Max plane individually and that it has no firm time frame to certify the jets.
The jets have been grounded since mid-March after two fatal crashes.
In a letter to a Boeing safety and compliance executive on Tuesday, the FAA wrote that the “large number of new 737 MAX airplanes currently in storage presents a number of challenges for airworthiness certification, production, and delivery which significantly exceed any that the Boeing system has previously experienced.”
Boeing executives are expecting regulators to sign off on the planes this quarter.
On Nov. 11, Boeing said deliveries could resume as early as this month but the month is nearly over.
“The FAA has determined that the public interest and safety in air commerce require that the FAA retain authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates of airworthiness for all 737 Max airplanes,” the FAA’s letter to Boeing said.
“The FAA will retain such authority until the agency is confident that, at a minimum, Boeing has fully functional quality control and verification processes in place; delivery processes are similarly functional and stable; and
Boeing’s 737 MAX compliance, design, and production processes meet all regulatory standards and conditions for delegation and ensure the safety of the public.”
A Boeing spokesman said, “We welcome and embrace this decision by the FAA. Safety is our number one priority.”
Disclaimer: We have no position in Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and have not been compensated for this article.