Sunday, February 21, 2021

FAA certifies Boeing 737 Max to return to the skies after fatal crashes

After two crashes killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia, the aircraft was grounded around the world.

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The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday issued an airworthiness directive rescinding its grounding order on the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 commercial passenger planes, reports Business Insider.

The grounding order was issued in March 2019 following the second of two fatal crashes that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The FAA noted that the 737 Max will not immediately return to the skies as the agency must still approve Boeing’s revamped pilot training programme. Airlines that have parked their 737 Max fleets “must take required maintenance steps to prepare them to fly again”.

But will travellers want to fly on the plane when it returns to the skies? After more than 18 months on the ground, countless technical and software changes, and a revised recertification process, it could be argued that the 737 Max will be the safest plane in the air. The FAA combed over the plane and it is highly likely that the agency’s engineers missed nothing.

All of that should allay any fears people have of flying in the plane – but how long it will take passengers to forget the two crashes remains to be seen.

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