Boeing Co (BA.N) told the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration it does not believe it needs to separate or move wiring bundles on its grounded 737 MAX jetliner that regulators have warned could short circuit with catastrophic consequences, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The FAA confirmed Friday it had received a proposal from the planemaker regarding the wiring issue.
The FAA will “rigorously evaluate Boeing’s proposal to address a recently discovered wiring issue with the 737 MAX. The manufacturer must demonstrate compliance with all certification standards,” the agency said in a statement.
The U.S. planemaker and FAA first said in early January they were reviewing a wiring issue that could potentially cause a short circuit on the 737 MAX, and under certain circumstances lead to a crash if pilots did not react in time.
A Boeing spokesman referred all questions on wiring to the FAA, saying the agency would make the final decision and that the company is answering questions from the FAA. Boeing’s 737 MAX was grounded worldwide last March after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people within five months.
Boeing has spent months updating the stall-prevention software known as MCAS linked to both crashes, but fresh issues have surfaced, complicating regulators’ efforts to re-approve the plane.
Given intense scrutiny of the 737 MAX, Boeing is sure to face questions about whether the MCAS system makes it harder for pilots to react in the event of a short circuit.
There are more than a dozen different locations on the 737 MAX where wiring bundles may be too close together. Most of the locations are under the cockpit in an electrical bay.
If the bundles pose a potential hazard, regulations would typically require separating the bundles or adding a physical barrier.