EASA, The European Union Aviation Safety Agency, is eyeing November to lift the Boeing 737 MAX’s flight ban. The entire Boeing 737 MAX family has been grounded following two strikingly similar accidents involving the type just half a year apart.
The Boeing 737 has now been grounded for over a year and a half. Initially, it was expected that the 737 MAX would be flying again sometime in 2019, then this shifted to Q1 of 2020, then Q2 and Q3… However, now it seems as though Boeing is on the finishing straight regarding recertifying the aircraft, following test flights from three major aviation authorities.
It seems as though the Boeing 737 MAX recertification is now lining up for its final approach following test flights from the FAA, EASA, and Transport Canada. According to Reuters, Patrick Ky, executive director of EASA said,
“For the first time in a year and a half I can say there’s an end in sight to work on the MAX”
According to the publication, Ky noted that his organization is looking to lift its ban on 737 MAX flights in November. This would likely be shortly after the FAA lifts its ban. However, it could take longer for the 737 MAX to get flying in Europe.
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Different European countries have slightly different regulations. For example, while many EASA nations will allow Boeing 737 MAX ferry flights with certain restrictions, no Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are currently permitted to fly in Germany’s airspace.
The most scrutinized aircraft?
Once the Boeing 737 MAX has been recertified, it will likely be the most scrutinized aircraft in history. No stone has been left unturned during the whole process, which has meant that several other issues were found and rectified on the way.
Air Astana’s CEO, Peter Foster, echos the belief that the aircraft will be an ultra-safe aircraft when it returns. Foster told Simple Flying,
“I think one thing we can be sure of… is that the process that that aircraft will have gone through for recertification will have been the most rigorous process, one would imagine that any, any civil aircraft has ever gone through ever in the history of the industry so I’ve no doubt whatsoever that when it starts flying again it will be an ultra safe aircraft.”
Air Astana currently has a letter of intent for up to 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. If the order is converted to a firm commitment, the plane would go to the Kazakh carrier’s low-cost subsidiary, FlyArystan. Yesterday Simple Flying revealed that Air Astana’s domestic traffic is better than it was at this point last year.
Would you fly on the Boeing 737 MAX when aviation authorities give it the green light to return to the skies? Let us know your thoughts and why in the comments!