Airlines have been given more time to replace the rudder control systems on their Boeing 737s. The US Federal Aviation Administration's final airworthiness directive (AD) requires all 737s to be modified by November 2008, a year later than originally proposed. The AD affects around 2,000 US-registered 737s and up to 2,500 aircraft outside the USA. Boeing will provide the hardware at no cost, but the FAA estimates each installation will take 700 man hours and cost $182,000, for a total projected cost to US carriers of $364 million. New hydraulic actuators, control rods and torque tubes will be installed during major maintenance checks. Boeing has been shipping wiring kits for Classic 737s since February, and since July for the Next Generation 737. Deliveries of hardware retrofit kits for the 737NG will begin in the second quarter of next year, and in the third quarter for 737 Classics.

Source: Flight International