MROAM: WestJet not expecting service disruptions from 737 directive

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Canadian carrier WestJet says that does not expect any service disruptions from a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive requiring Boeing 737NG operators to inspect pins in the aircraft's horizontal stabiliser.

"This directive does not represent a safety concern within WestJet's fleet and no action needs to be taken outside of regularly scheduled maintenance," says Cam Kenyon, WestJet's executive vice-president, in a statement. "As per our regular maintenance schedule, we will inspect and replace this part if needed. We do not anticipate any service disruptions."

WestJet operates 103 Boeing 737s, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows.

The FAA issued the AD for 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER aircraft on 15 April after it found that incorrect procedures were used when applying protective coatings for wear and corrosion to the attach pins of the horizontal stabiliser rear spar.

The Calgary-based carrier says that the directive requires the pins with specific part numbers to be replaced before the aircraft reaches 56,000 take-off and landing cycles and notes that its oldest aircraft has accumulated fewer than 20,000 cycles. It says that it complies with directives issued in the country where the affected aircraft is manufactured.

Southwest Airlines, which operates a majority of the affected 737s in the US fleet, also says that it will be able to conduct the inspections during routine maintenance events.

The Dallas-based carrier says that it has been aware of the issue since September 2012 and plans to incorporate the inspections into its routine maintenance schedules for the aircraft.

Southwest flies 458 of the 1,050 US-based 737s that the FAA estimates are affected by the AD.