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Last Updated : Oct 16, 2020 02:05 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Boeing’s 737 Max safe to fly before 2020-end: European aviation regulator

Europe’s top aviation regulator said Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft could be able to return to flying in the region before the end of 2020 even as some of the additional upgrades the agency has asked for, will not be ready for two more years.

File image of the Boeing 737 MAX
File image of the Boeing 737 MAX

Europe’s top aviation regulator, on October 16, said he was satisfied with the changes made to Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, to make it safe for flying in the region before the end of 2020, Bloomberg reported. This development came even as some of the further upgrades his agency has asked for, will not be ready for nearly two more years.

The news report cites Patrick Ky, the executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, as saying that The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is reportedly completing a final document review ahead of a draft airworthiness directive expected to be issued in November. The directive would be followed by four weeks of public comments.

The development of a synthetic sensor to add redundancy will take 20-24 months, the Bloomberg report quotes Ky as saying.

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The EASA has mandated the sensor on the larger 737 Max 10 variant of the aircraft before its planned debut in 2022. It would have to be retrofitted onto other versions too.

Boeing’s 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. The crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia triggered lawsuits, investigations by the US Congress and the Department of Justice and cut off a key source of Boeing's cash.

Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet is expecting the grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft to get back to service in the first three months of 2021. Return of the aircraft will be a 'big boost,' the airline said while announcing its fourth-quarter and full-year results for FY20.

The airline has a fleet of 13 Boeing 737 aircraft. SpiceJet has a total order of 155 of these planes. Among Indian carriers, apart from SpiceJet, Jet Airways had also placed orders for the aircraft.

Boeing is working to win regulatory approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration, potentially early in November, to fly the jetliner again in the United States. This comes as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to hamper demand for jets from both Boeing and its European rival Airbus. In September alone, Boeing lost three orders for the grounded aircraft.
First Published on Oct 16, 2020 01:47 pm
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