US government shutdown partly blamed for delay in doomed Boeing 737 MAX software updates

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Boeing plans to make major changes to the flight control systems on the 737 MAX aircraft — just months after delaying a similar software fix due to failed negotiations with the FAA, a report says.

Sources briefed on the talks told The Wall Street Journal that federal regulators determined that the delay was acceptable because its experts believed there was no imminent safety threat, as did Boeing’s.

According to the WSJ, US officials have also blamed part of the delay on this year’s government shutdown — saying it halted work for at least five weeks.

During the US government shutdown, pilots warned Donald Trump and Congressional leadership that “certification and work on safety-related airworthiness directives” had been stalled by the federal closure

A coalition of nearly 61,000 pilots wrote in multiple letters to the government during the shutdown that oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had been “significantly reduced” or halted outright. 

“There are also airline and aircraft manufacturing oversight activities that either stop or are significantly reduced,” the pilots association warned the White House in early January. “These safety and oversight inspections will potentially allow for the introduction of safety issues that put passengers and airline crews at risk.”

Via WSJ / Independent / New York Post

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