Boeing Co on February 14 reportedly told US Federal Aviation Administration that it does not feel the need to change the wiring bundles on its grounded 737 MAX aircraft that regulators have pointed out to do so, as it does not believe it could lead to a short circuit or any catastrophic consequences. According to media reports, the FAA received a proposal from the company regarding the wiring issue and the US regulator said that it will evaluate the proposal and the planemaker must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards.
According to reports, there are many locations on 737 MAX airliners where wiring bundles are too close together and regulators feel that it could lead to a catastrophic outcome if a short circuit happens. Most of these bundled wires are under the cockpit in an electrical bay area. Boeing has said that it has the same wiring in 737 NG which is in commission since 1997 and has completed 205 million hours in the air and has never faced any wiring issue. New safety rules on wiring were adopted after the 1998 crash of Swiss Air 111 and the rules would require Boeing to separate the wiring bundles by adding physical barriers.
Earlier, Boeing had admitted that it was facing technical issues on its grounded 737 MAX but had also said that it was confident of the aircraft returning safely to service. As per media reports, the software issue was related to the plane's indicator light which was staying longer than it was intended to. The indicator light was related to the plane's stabilizer trim, which raises and lowers the aircraft's nose.
Boeing 737 MAX flights were grounded after a Lion Airline plane carrying 189 passengers crashed into the sea moments after take-off in October 2018. Then in March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed shortly after take-off, killing all 157 people on board. Three days after the March crash, the United States' FAA temporarily grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft.
(With inputs from agencies)