FORT WORTH, TEXAS — The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, expressed its strong opposition to any extension of the equipment exemption for the Boeing 737-7 MAX and Boeing 737-10 MAX. The exemption expires in December.

“Boeing needs to proceed with installing modern crew alerting systems on these aircraft to mitigate pilot startle-effect and confusion during complex, compound system malfunctions,” said APA President Capt. Edward Sicher.

“Once these systems are installed, and pilots have been properly trained on them, our crews will be better able to identify system failures and prioritize corrective actions that could save lives.”

Sicher noted that American Airlines pilots fly more than 300 B737s for the airline.

“We oppose any extension of the exemption and don’t agree with Boeing’s claim that pilots could become confused when moving from an airplane without the modern alert system to one that is equipped with it. Nothing could be further from our flight deck reality,” 

Sicher said.

As an example, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 are substantially different airplanes yet operate under a single certificate. Pilots have routinely flown both on the same day without any confusion.

“Pilots must have the tools we need to keep our passengers safe. By equipping these aircraft with modern crew alerting systems, Boeing can maintain a strong order book for them, which will in turn protect the jobs of the thousands of hard-working men and women who build the airplanes. Doing so will also help Boeing to continue rebuilding public trust,” 

Sicher concluded.