When the first Boeing 737 MAX jets are delivered, operators should benefit from new technologies built on a derivative airframe.

“We will offer differences training to assist maintenance providers in supporting the 737 MAX, but since this is a derivative, we do not anticipate special certification [for maintenance providers] beyond the current NG certification to be required,” says James Walker, senior manager for 737 MAX Commercial Aviation Services for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will take full advantage of the existing industry-wide 737 maintenance infrastructure.”

Walker reports that while scheduled maintenance intervals will carry over from those for the 737NG, an enhanced maintenance program with longer inspection intervals is slated for implementation in 2014. “The new program will mean less-frequent scheduled maintenance, less airplane downtime and lower overall maintenance costs for the MAX when it enters service in 2017.”

Walker points out that a few major changes—driving fuel efficiency gains—will mean some differences in technical support. Those changes pertain to the new CFM Leap-1B engine, fly-by-wire spoilers, electronic bleed air control system, and new, large-format cockpit displays.

Boeing is creating a recommended spares provisioning list specific to the MAX, but expects that a significant percentage of the 737NG spares investment will carry over to the new aircraft. “It is our goal to minimize what is not common while achieving the new levels of performance the 737 MAX offers,” Walker stresses.