The Boeing 737 MAX is set to be approved next week to return to service says Reuters citing three sources briefed on the matter.
It says that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is in the final stages of reviewing proposed changes to Boeing’s 737 MAX and expects to complete the process in the “coming days,” the agency’s chief told Reuters on Monday.
Reuters said that FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told it in a statement that he expects “this process will be finished in the coming days, once the agency is satisfied that Boeing has addressed” safety issues involved in tow fatal crashes.
Last month Europe’s top aviation regulator has said that changes made to Boeing’s 737 MAX have made the aircraft safe to return to the region’s skies.
The regulator, EASA, has performed final document reviews ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue this month.
While the software upgrades and changes are enough to get the plane back in the air, EASA is still demanding the development of a so-called synthetic sensor (that will be ready in 20 to 24 months) to reach even higher safety levels.”
In September FAA administrator Steve Dickson was upbeat about the 737 MAX after a test flight.
A former airline pilot, Dickson is licensed to fly the 737 and flew the MAX for more than 90 minutes over Washington state after completing simulator training.
“I like what I saw on the flight,” Dickson told a media conference at the time but cautioned that “we are not to the point yet where we have completed the process [of re-certification].”
However, while he added, “that doesn’t mean I don’t have some debrief items going forward,” these were described by him as tweaks “not so much in the procedures, but in the narrative that describes the procedures.”
The 737 MAX was grounded in March last year after two crashes related to the aircraft’s software and crew training.