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WASHINGTON—The unique series of steps required to approve hundreds of stored aircraft for delivery to eager airlines has convinced the FAA that it needs to take over issuing airworthiness and export certificates for Boeing 737 MAXs once the agency has cleared the aircraft to return—a move that aligns with its stated pause on delegating any 737 re-approval work.
“The large number of new 737 MAX airplanes currently in storage presents a number of challenges for airworthiness certification, production and delivery, which significantly exceeds any that the Boeing system has previously experienced,” the agency wrote Boeing in a Nov. 26 letter. “These circumstances were not accounted for as part of any prior FAA evaluation or approval of the company’s quality system, or related delegation to the Boeing Organization Designation Authorization (ODA).”
The FAA said the move affects “all” undelivered MAXs. It will retain the authority “until it is confident that” Boeing has “fully functional quality control and verification processes in place” and the delivery process is “stable,” the agency explained.