© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of Boeing 777X airplanes parked at King County International Airport-Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, US, June 1, 2022. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -US and European aviation safety regulators plan to hold a meeting next week with Boeing (NYSE 🙂 on its 777X airplane that is awaiting certification, Europe’s top aviation safety regulator said on Tuesday.
Boeing in April said it was halting production of the 777X through 2023 and confirmed a delay in handing over the first 777X jet to 2025 from the previous target of late 2023, but said it remained confident in the program.
Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Washington that the meeting is “very important” to share information.
“We just need to agree on common principals of how to achieve the safety targets that we have and we need to understand each other. That’s where we are,” Ky said, adding that “we need to agree on planning, who does what. “
The FAA and Boeing did not immediately comment.
Ky added the meeting is to talk about “what are the issues, what are the solutions, what are the mitigating factors.”
The FAA warned Boeing in a March 21 letter that existing certification schedules for the 737 MAX 10 and 777X were “outdated and no longer reflect the program activities.”
Certification is needed before Boeing can begin deliveries.
The 777X, known as the 777-9 and a larger version of the 777 wide-body jet, has been in development since 2013 and at one point was expected to be released for airline use in June 2020.
In May 2021, the FAA told Boeing that, realistically, it would not certify the 777X until mid- to late 2023 and rejected a request by Boeing to clear a certification hurdle, citing numerous concerns about lack of data and the lack of a preliminary safety assessment.
Congress approved a sweeping certification reform bill in late 2020 after two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes. Ky said the regulators around the world are making some changes to rules after those crashes.
“All of us are much more cautious in terms of what is the risk,” Ky said.