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Boeing drops request for MAX 7 exemption from safety rule

Boeing said Monday it dropped a request for an exemption from US safety rules for a new 737 MAX aircraft in a shift following a flight emergency earlier this month. The US plane maker had sought a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration relating to an engine anti-icing system for the 737 MAX 7, the smallest of the MAX family, which has yet to be certified. “We have informed the FAA that we are withdrawing our request for a time-limited exemption relating to the engine inlet deicing system on the 737-7,” the company said Monday night. “We will instead incorporate an engineering solution that will be completed during the certification process.” Boeing’s exemption request had been slammed last week by Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois as a “bold face attempt to put profits over the safety of the flying public with the MAX 7.” Duckworth met on Thursday with Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun to discuss safety issues following the January 5 Alaska Airlines incident, which she called “horrific.” In that incident, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 was forced to make an emergency landing after a panel on the fuselage blew out. While nobody was seriously injured, US safety inspectors have said the incident could have been catastrophic. The incident is expected to slow down the FAA certification of the 737 MAX 7 and the 737 MAX 10, likely hitting Boeing profitability. Boeing said Monday that it is “committed to being transparent, listening to all our stakeholders and taking action to strengthen safety and quality at Boeing.”

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