Air safety regulators in the United States have lifted grounding orders put in place in March 2019 after two deadly crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max plane and has allowed it to fly again.
This approval is a crucial milestone for the airplane maker which was pushed into a financial crisis by the crashes and the grounding of its best-selling aircraft as investigations pinned the blame for the crashes on the company.
And with near halting of air travel this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the company’s financial woes deepened.
But before going back into service, all existing Boeing 737 Max planes will have to be modified and changes have to be made in its design.
The clearance would not allow the plane to “return immediately” to the skies, said US safety regulator, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Pilots will also need training in addition to the changes in software and wiring of the aircrafts.
The design changes it had mandated “have eliminated what caused these particular accidents”, the FAA said.
He was “100% confident” in the safety of the plane, said the FAA boss.
“We’ve done everything humanly possible to make sure” these types of crashes do not happen again,” Steve Dickson said.
Boeing had initially expected the approval to come about a year back but was too doon for the family members of the victims of the crash,
The changes made to the plane will be effective to ensure safety of the aircrafts in the future, pilots and safety experts apparently felt.
Even though the return of the aircraft is good news for Boeing, the global airline industry has changed. The craft was meant to addressing the growing needs for air travel amidst a booming market with airlines in desperate need of new planes and were on the lookout for more efficient planes because of the high fuel prices.
But the Cvodi-19 pandemic has virtually brought the global aviation industry to its knees and has forced some airlines to cancel orders.
But the outlook of the industry is for the long term. There will ultimately be a recovery in air traffic there will be increasing pressures on them to keep costs down amid increasing environmental regulatory pressures.
In such a scenario, the 737 Max planes will have a role to play.
(Adapted from BBC.com)