Boeing has withdrawn its request for a safety exemption on the 737 Max 7, a spokesperson told Business Insider on Tuesday.
Boeing has asked regulators for leeway to have the single-aisle jet certified. The manufacturer initially believed the Max 7 would be certified in 2022, but it’s now years behind schedule.
The Max 7 is the smallest version of Boeing’s newest single-aisle jet. Its largest version, the Max 10, is also awaiting FAA certification.
Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration warned that the Max jets’ engine de-icing system could cause the engine to overheat — and potentially result in debris breaking off and hitting the plane.
The FAA noted that if the debris hit a wing or the tail it “could result in loss of control of the airplane.” Damage to the fuselage could also cause decompression, which would see oxygen masks deployed and an emergency landing like in the Alaska Airlines blowout.
Boeing’s safety exemption request for the Max 7 was based on this flaw. In its petition, it said an engine breakup is “extremely improbable” and an exemption wouldn’t reduce the jet’s safety, per The Seattle Times.
But this exemption has now been withdrawn as Boeing deals with the fallout from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282. The 737 Max 9 jet involved in the incident was delivered just 66 days earlier, pointing to problems on the production line.
The delayed certification of the Max 7 adds to Boeing’s woes.
“While we are confident that the proposed time-limited exemption for that system follows established FAA processes to ensure safe operation, we will instead incorporate an engineering solution that will be completed during the certification process,” Boeing said in the statement shared with Business Insider.
“As always, the FAA will determine the timing of certification and we will follow their lead every step of the way. We’re committed to being transparent, listening to all our stakeholders and taking action to strengthen safety and quality at Boeing,” they added.