The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has delayed entry into service of two Boeing 737 Max 8s delivered to American Airlines. The only two airplanes delivered to American since the shutdown began on December 22, both Max 8s sit at the airline’s maintenance facilities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to enter service. In a statement to AIN, the airline said the delay would not immediately affect schedules, however.
“We have a very large fleet of aircraft, and this will not impact our schedules and/or customer[s] at this time,” said the statement.
Although Congress acted to keep the Oklahoma City Aircraft Registry Office open, industry leaders have expressed concern about the effects of a prolonged shutdown on other elements of FAA operations, including certification. Flight authorizations, operational authorizations, and changes to operators’ certificates have stopped, creating hurdles to putting aircraft into service after delivery. Meanwhile, non-routine aircraft registrations have halted since Aeronautical Center Counsel attorneys remain on furlough.
The U.S. government shutdown entered its 24th day on Monday, after exceeding the previous duration record over the weekend.