United States clears Boeing 737 MAX to fly again

United States clears Boeing 737 MAX to fly again

This decision comes after 20 months of immobilization on the ground for these devices, following two accidents which killed 346 people in the space of five months.

An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX airliner at Renton Airport, Washington, United States, November 10, 2020 (JASON REDMOND / AFP)

Soon back in the sky. Boeing will be able to start turning the page on the 737 MAX crisis, the United States having authorized planes of this model to fly again on Wednesday, November 18, after 20 months of immobilization on the ground following two accidents that caused 346 dead in the space of five months.

Several modifications will have to be made to the devices before they can be returned to service, the United States Aviation Agency (FAA) said in announcing its decision. The pilots will also have to undergo new training before taking back the controls of a Boeing 737 MAX in the American sky.

A flight scheduled for December

“The road which led us to this decision was long and grueling”FAA Director Steve Dickson said in a video accompanying his decision. “But we said from the start that we would take the time we needed to get it right. We have never been guided by time, we have followed a methodical and deliberate process ”. Steve Dickson himself flew the plane on a test flight in September and assured him that he would settle his family there without any problem.

Airlines will also have to carry out maintenance work on planes stationed on airport tarmacs since March 2019. Aircraft stored at Boeing will have to be examined by an FAA inspector before being sent to customers.

The American Airlines company has nevertheless already planned a flight at the end of December, on a link between Miami and New York. “We put in artwork rigorous processes to ensure the safety of every aircraft and our pilots, flight attendants, colleagues and customers have confidence in the return of the 737 MAX ”, wrote the executives of the company in a letter to the employees.

No immediate return to the rest of the world

However, the 737 MAX, which was Boeing’s sales engine before its setbacks, will not immediately return to non-American skies: civil aviation authorities in other countries have decided to proceed with their own. their own certification.

The Canadian agency said Wednesday, November 18 that it should “very soon” complete its own validation process and request additional changes. The European agency should for its part officially give its green light at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

The decision of the FFA is a “Milestone”Boeing reacted in a statement, assuring that it is ready to work with regulators around the world for a rapid return to service. “These events and the lessons we learned from them reshaped our business and focused our attention more on our core values ​​of safety, quality and integrity”, added CEO David Calhoun, quoted in the press release.