Boeing 737 MAX plane: European aviation regulator declares aircraft safe to fly
In a major respite to American aerospace company Boeing, Europe’s top aviation regulator has declared its 737 MAX aircraft safe enough to return to skies. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is satisfied with the changes made to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max plane and said that it is safe enough to return to the region’s skies before 2020 is out, Bloomberg reported. This major announcement came even as some of the further upgrades, demanded by the agency would not ready for up to two years. In December 2019, Boeing had announced the suspension of 737 MAX production starting in January this year due to certification moving into 2020.
EASA’s executive director Patrick Ky said that the agency is reviewing final document ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue next month. It has already conducted test flights in September this year, as per the report.
Ky further stated that the development of synthetic sensor to add redundancy will take 20 to 24 months. The EASA has made the sensor compulsory for the larger 737 Max 10 variant before its planned debut in 2022. Following this, this software-based solution would have to be retrofitted onto other versions too.
In the wake of two fatal accidents involving 737 MAX planes, aviation regulators across the globe, in 2019, imposed a ban on flying these fuel-efficient aircraft. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also ordered grounding of these planes in India.
In India, low-cost carrier SpiceJet is the only company which has MAX aircraft in its fleet. The budget airline grounded 13 737 MAX planes in March last year.