Federal lawmakers dealt a setback to Boeing Co.,
proposing a defense bill that didn’t exempt two new 737 MAX models from a new regulatory requirement, as the plane maker had sought.
Negotiators in Congress dropped the potential waiver from the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual must-pass bill that lawmakers filed late Tuesday. The waiver’s exclusion from the bill leaves Boeing fewer options during the current Congress to avoid a requirement to perform costly and time-consuming upgrades to the cockpits of its newest 737 models.
Boeing declined to comment. The company’s shares declined about 2% in early Wednesday trading, while major U.S. stock indexes were flat.
Boeing faces a Dec. 27 deadline imposed by a 2020 law, which aimed to make new aircraft safer by requiring modern cockpit-alerting systems to help pilots resolve emergencies. At the time, Boeing didn’t expect the requirement would affect its newest 737 models, the shorter MAX 7 and longer MAX 10. But Federal Aviation Administration approvals have taken longer than the company had anticipated.