Boeing 737MAX: Could Be Back To Flying Soon With FAA Go-ahead

DGCA Boeing 737 MAX - aviatorsbuzz
A file photograph of a Boeing 737 MAX on display at the US aircraft manufacturer's Renton factory in 2019. Source: Boeing/Instagram

Grounded since March 2019, the Boeing 737Max planes, could well return to the skies with the US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approving its ‘return to service’ with extensive fixes.

The US FAA Airworthiness Directive put up on its website on Wednesday said that it has identified the required return-to-service activities for operators of the 737 MAX and heightened surveillance and tracking of those related activities for aviation safety inspectors (ASI).

New Flight Control Computer Software

FAAs new Airworthiness Directive for Boeing 737Max requires aircraft operators require installation of new flight control computer (FCC) software, revising the existing Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to incorporate new and revised flight crew procedures, installing new MAX display system (MDS) software, changing the horizontal stabilizer trim wire routing installations, completing an AOA sensor system test, and performing an operational readiness flight, among others.

FAAs Airworthiness Directive lists out the requirements such as installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training, etc, which will ensure the airplanes are ready for service and need to be put in place by the operators.

Including Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), other aviation safety regulators will put in place procedures to resume services of the aircraft in their respective countries, in the coming days. SpiceJet is the only Indian carrier having the Boeing 737Max aircraft in its fleet.

Boeing Says 

In a statement on Wednesday, The Boeing Company’s chief executive officer, David Calhoun said: “We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations.

Mr. Calhoun reasoned that these events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity.

Throughout the past 20 months, Boeing said it has worked closely with airlines, providing them with detailed recommendations regarding long-term storage and ensuring their input was part of the effort to safely return the airplanes to service.

Boeing said, the Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA spells out the requirements that must be met before U.S. carriers can resume service, including installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training and accomplishing thorough de-preservation activities that will ensure the airplanes are ready for service.

“The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”

The Boeing 737 MAX Grounding Story

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was grounded by the US FAA and later by DGCA in March 2019 following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX near Addis Ababa on 10 March, killing 157 people, including four Indian citizens, and another Lion Air crash during October 2018 that killed 180 people in Indonesia, the pilot of which was from Delhi.

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Deputy Editor, AviatorsBuzz Aditya Anand in his nearly two decades of Journalism experience has tracked Aviation, Travel, and Hospitality closely and reported on it for major publications like The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, and MIDDAY.