Boeing 737 MAX to Receive Final Flight Clearance From EU Next Week

The EU’s air safety watchdog on Tuesday said that, Boeing’s 737 MAX airliner will receive final clearance to resume flying in Europe next week.

The EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is one of the last major regulators to approve changes to the MAX and its anti-stall software, after two deadly crashes that grounded the jet in March 2019.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States and the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) in Brazil both re-certified the MAX in late 2020, and Transport Canada is expected to follow suit on Jan. 20.

The EASA took its time in re-certifying the 737 MAX, insisting on carrying out its own broad, in-depth assessment of Boeing’s changes. Normally, the agency would automatically accept the FAA’s certification as part of a bilateral aviation safety agreement between the two regulators. This meant that the EU would trust the FAA’s judgment and allow new commercial aircraft, regardless of manufacturer, to begin flying in both regions at the same time. However, because of the FAA’s lack of oversight during the MAX’s first certification, the EASA will conduct its own tests and review of the jet, particularly the plane’s MCAS system.

According to Reuters, the certification should be complete by next week, allowing the jet to return to the skies after 22 months on the ground.

“We expect to publish it next week, which means the MAX will be cleared to fly again,” Ky said. A separate certification of the MAX-200 variant will likely follow in “coming weeks”, he added, allowing flights to resume before summer.

Emirates President Tim Clark last week credited the European regulator’s “very hard line” for helping to restore public trust in the MAX.

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