January 29, 2024

Duckworth Reaction to Boeing Withdrawing Safety Standard Waiver Request for MAX 7 Aircraft with Known Safety Defect


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator and pilot Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (CST) and Chair of the CST Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations and Innovation—issued the following statement after Boeing confirmed its intent to withdraw its reckless petition requesting an exemption from safety certification standards to prematurely allow its 737 MAX 7 aircraft to enter commercial use before fixing a known safety flaw that could have catastrophic consequences on passenger safety. Boeing’s withdrawal comes after Duckworth personally urged the company’s CEO last week to withdraw its petition and prioritize passenger safety over profits.

“While Boeing never should have sought this exemption to put another new aircraft with a known safety defect into service in the first place, I’m both relieved and appreciative that they are putting the flying public’s safety first by withdrawing this petition,” said Duckworth. “I hope this decision marks the beginning of a turnaround in Boeing’s safety culture moving forward and I encourage the company to put its full focus into fixing the known safety flaw on the MAX 7 and other MAX aircraft that could lead to catastrophic consequences for passengers and crew.”

Before today’s decision from Boeing, Senator Duckworth also called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reject the company’s petition, citing its knowledge of a flaw in the anti-ice system aboard its 737 MAX 7 aircraft that marked a single point of failure subject to human error and Boeing not expecting to have a mechanical fix implement until 2026, at the earliest.