TEMPO.CO, Dubai - Boeing moved on Saturday, Nov. 16, to ease tensions with regulators over the return to service of its 737 MAX, saying it was up to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and its global counterparts to approve changes to the jet in the wake of two accidents.
The FAA told its staff this week to take whatever time was needed to review the grounded plane after the aircraft manufacturer said it expected the FAA to certify Boeing 737 MAX in mid-December.
"We put some targets out that still line up to December … type certification," Stan Deal, chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters.
"The FAA has said they are not going to put a time frame on it and we are going to track behind them on this," he told a news conference ahead of the Dubai Airshow.
Boeing's mid-December estimate sent the planemaker's stock price soaring on Monday, though it also said it would not win approval for changes to pilot training until January.
U.S. officials privately said this week that Boeing's timetable was aggressive -- if not unrealistic -- and was not cleared in advance by regulators.
On Friday, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson indicated the agency would decide in its own time whether to unground the plane that was involved in two fatal crashes in five months, killing 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
"This effort is not guided by a calendar or schedule," Dickson wrote in a memo seen by Reuters.