Boeing’s Next Aircraft Will Face International Scrutiny

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International regulators in Europe and the Middle East will individually certify the next Boeing aircraft to enter the market, according to the Wall Street Journal. The publication states that this is as a result of the ongoing Boeing 737 MAX grounding.

Boeing, International Certification, 777X
International regulators could seek their own certification of Boeing’s next aircraft. Photo: Boeing

Typically, with major aircraft, such as those from Boeing, aviation authorities across the globe will respect the FAA’s certification of an aircraft, perhaps carrying out a couple of their own tests but not much more than that. After all, it would not previously have been logical for a small nation with relatively few of an aircraft to certify it themselves. However, that could now change.

What’s happening?

Earlier today the Wall Street Journal exclusively reported that the “longstanding practice” of respecting other nations’ certifications of aircraft could be coming to an end. The publication told us that authorities both in Europe and the Middle East are keen to certify Boeing’s next aircraft themselves.

The publication puts the change down to “eroding international confidence in the planemaker and the Federal Aviation Administration”. While not mentioned by name, the aircraft being referred to could be the Boeing 777X.

Both the Middle East and Europe will have large numbers of Boeing aircraft based in their territories, and Boeing is currently working on certifying the 777X. The UAE’s flag carrier Emirates has previously said that it would bring a Boeing 777 to Dubai for tests next year. However, in Europe Lufthansa will be the type’s launch customer, with British Airways also ordering a number of the aircraft.

Boeing, International Certification, 777X
British Airways has a number of Boeing 777X aircraft on order. Photo: Boeing

777X progress

Following setbacks to the Boeing 777X program, the aircraft is yet to take its first flight. The GE9X engines due to power the 777X were sent back to their manufacturer prior to the aircraft taking to the skies.

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Earlier today, the Seattle Times reported that a 777X fuselage being tested in Seattle was ripped apart by explosive decompression. The Seattle Times published a leaked image showing the extent of damage was much more serious than a cargo door being blown off, as was previously reported.

Boeing, International Certification, 777X
Typically other countries will accept the FAA’s certification of Boeing products. Photo: Boeing

What about the 737 MAX?

Earlier today it was revealed that the FAA will take the sole responsibility for issuing Boeing 737 MAX airworthiness certificates once the aircraft returns to service. Previously Boeing had been able to issue its own airworthiness certificates when aircraft were completed in Seattle.

As a result, each Boeing 737 MAX will now have to be signed off by the FAA until Boeing has“fully functional quality control and verification processes in place”.

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Simple Flying contacted Boeing regarding this story, however, had yet to receive a response at the time of publishing this article.

Do you think it is wise for other countries to certify aircraft themselves? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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