On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a directive instructing all Boeing 737 operators to conduct inspections to address possible failures of their cabin altitude pressure switches.
According to the US aviation watchdog, the directive applies to all 737 series planes, including the MAX jets. This directive could affect around 2,500 Boeing 737 planes in the US and more than 9,300 Boeing 737s worldwide, as reported by Reuters.
The FAA stated that the failure of both the switches could result in the cabin altitude warning system not activating if the cabin altitude exceeds 10,000 feet. The oxygen levels could become dangerously low at this altitude and become dangerous to those on board.
“A latent failure of both pressure switches could result in the loss of cabin altitude warning, which could delay flight crew recognition of a lack of cabin pressurization, and result in incapacitation of the flight crew due to hypoxia and consequent loss of control of the airplane,” the FAA said.
“Addressing these failures requires immediate action.”
The directive was reportedly issued after an operator reported the failure of both pressure switches during an on-wing functional test of three different 737 models back in September last year.
Commenting on this, a Boeing spokesperson said, “Safety is our highest priority, and we fully support the FAA’s direction, which makes mandatory the inspection interval that we issued to the fleet in June.”
The FAA also ordered the 737 operators to inspect the pressure switches after every 2,000 flight hours instead of the current 6,000 hours.