The US safety regulator the FAA has told Boeing that its flagship 400-passenger 777X will not be certified till late 2023.
In a letter, just revealed by the Seattle Times, the FAA rejected the company’s request to issue a Type Inspection Authorization Readiness saying “the aircraft is not yet ready for TIA.”
This follows the FAA telling Boeing to address various problems, including flight control software that apparently triggered the plane to pitch abruptly without pilots’ input during a December 2020 test flight.
The late 2023 certification timeline is in line with Boeing’s advice to the market given by Chief Executive Dave Calhoun which has upset key customer Emirates.
A Boeing spokeswoman told CNBC that the company “remains fully focused on safety as our highest priority throughout 777X development. As we subject the airplane to a comprehensive test program to demonstrate its safety and reliability, we are working through a rigorous development process to ensure we meet all applicable requirements.”
Boeing is about to install a major software upgrade on the four test aircraft to address a series of problems including the software fix for the un-commanded pitch event that occurred on December 8, 2020.
But the FAA said in the letter to Boeing that “software load dates are continuously sliding and the FAA needs better visibility into the causes of the delays.”
It said that “after the un-commanded pitch event, the FAA is yet to see how Boeing fully implements all the corrective actions identified by the root cause investigation.”