April 10, 2019, © Leeham News: China will be the last country to review and approve fixes to the Boeing 737 MAX, according to the talk here on the sidelines of the Aviation Week MRO Americas conference in Atlanta.
Nobody knows, of course, when regulators will lift the MAX grounding orders. But none is looking for fast action.
And China, the first to ground the airplane, will be the last to lift the grounding, sideline talk here indicates.
It’s expected that Boeing’s decision to grant Authority to Offer for the New Midmarket Airplane will wait until the Board of Directors knows that the MAX grounding will be lifted, production resumed at pre-grounding rates (or, at least, on its way back) and deliveries (and cash flow) resume.
Within the supply chain, it is expected Boeing will go ahead with the program.
Last Friday, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, among other things, announced he asked four members of the Board of Directors to form a special committee to examine the processes surrounding the MAX.
In light of our commitment to continuous improvement and our determination to always make a safe industry even safer, I’ve asked the Boeing Board of Directors to establish a committee to review our company-wide policies and processes for the design and development of the airplanes we build. The committee will confirm the effectiveness of our policies and processes for assuring the highest level of safety on the 737-MAX program, as well as our other airplane programs, and recommend improvements to our policies and procedures.
The committee members will be Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., (Ret.), former vice chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will serve as the committee’s chair; Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO of Amgen, Inc.; Lynn J. Good, chairman, president and CEO of the Duke Energy Corporation; and Edward M. Liddy, former chairman and CEO of the Allstate Corporation, all members of the company’s board. These individuals have been selected to serve on this committee because of their collective and extensive experiences that include leadership roles in corporate, regulated industries and government entities where safety and the safety of lives is paramount.
An aerospace analyst at the conference who follows Boeing was unimpressed, calling this committee a sham. Why? They don’t know commercial aviation, other than their experience on the Boeing board. Muilenburg should have appointed outside aviation experts, he said.
A few people at the MRO Americas wondered if the MAX issues will cost Muilenburg or Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister their jobs.