Following the approval to flu in the skies again to Boeing’s 737 Max passenger jetliner planes by the regulators in the United States, the same is set to be done by regulators in Europe in January.
The planes have been grounded for 20 months now after two deadly crashes involving the planes in which 346 people were killed.
After Boeing made changes to the design of the jet that was involved in the two crashes in five months in 2018 and 2019, the 737 MAX has been marked to be safe to fly, said the head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in remarks aired on Saturday.
“We wanted to carry out a totally independent analysis of the safety of this aircraft, so we performed our own checks and flight tests,” Executive Director Patrick Ky told the Paris Air Forum, an online aviation conference hosted by La Tribune.
“All these studies tell us that the 737 MAX can return to service. We have started to put in place all the measures,” he said. “It is likely that in our case we will adopt the decisions, allowing it to return to service, some time in January.”
Analysts see the safe to fly approval to the 737 Max planes to be a significant one after the approvals of US’s FAA because the European regulator, which is also the regulator for Boeing rival Airbus, also has great significance and importance in eth global aviation industry.
The EASA directive that announces the end of the ban to flying in Europe of the 737 Max planes will be published next week, officials have confirmed. Following that publishing there will be a period of 30 days for commenting from the public and industry members. An ungrounding decision for the planes in Europe is then likely to be taken by regulators in January.
There are a number of factors including the time that would be needed for training of pilots in the changes made and the time required for airlines to upgrade the new software and carry out other actions as ordered by EASA, that have to be fulfilled before the 737 Max planes can be used for flight in Europe.
Commercial flights using the 737 Max planes is schedules to resume in the United States on December 29 which would be little less than six weeks since the FAA order of allowing the planes to fly was published on November 18.
27 European Union countries as well as four other countries including Norway is represented by the EASA. Norway has 92 of the 737 Max aircraft on order. The EASA also represents that United Kingdom till December 31 – the end of the transition period for the UK to leave the EU.
Since the two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, a number of investigationshad been initiated that pinned the blame of the crashes on the Boeing planes which were poorly designed. The investigations also criticised the FAA for slack in oversight. The tight-knit FAA relations with Boeing were also placed under the scanner.
(Adapted from Business-Standard.com)