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US Senate defense bill does not extend Boeing 737 MAX certification – sources

US Senate defense bill does not extend Boeing 737 MAX certification – sources
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Written by David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The latest version of the US Senate’s defense bill does not contain an amendment to extend the December deadline for Boeing (NYSE:) to win regulatory approval for the 737 Max 7 and Max 10 planes, according to sources and documents. Seen by Reuters.

Late last month, Republican Senator Roger Wicker proposed extending the US aircraft maker’s deadline to September 2024 to win approval for two new 737s.

Unless it gets an extension from Congress, Boeing must meet new modern cockpit alert requirements that could significantly delay aircraft entry into service. Wicker sought to attach the measure to a copy of the defense bill submitted on Tuesday.

Shares of Boeing, which were trading around $135 a share before the Reuters news announcement, were down to $131.57 at close, down 33 cents from the previous session’s close.

Congress adopted the requirements as part of a certification reform passed after two fatal 737 MAX crashes killed 346 people and ground the best-selling plane for 20 months.

Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, did not immediately comment.

There are other opportunities for changes to the defense bill and an extension of other measures Congress will consider before the end of the year can be attached.

On Friday, the union representing about 10,000 Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) pilots told Reuters it supported the extension, while the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 American Airlines (NASDAQ:) pilots, said it was opposed.

Both the US and Southwest fly the MAX 8. Southwest has ordered 192 MAX 7. Boeing has an estimated 1,000 orders and commitments for the MAX 7 and 10.

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Boeing declined to comment. In the past, she’s said it’s safer to have a single common alert system in the 737’s cockpit.

Reuters reported last week that Boeing does not expect to gain regulatory approval for the Max 10 before next summer, according to a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration.

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