The Boeing 737 MAX could receive regulatory approval to resume flights in November according to Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
The breaking news, reported by Seeking Alpha, will be welcome by Boeing and its airline customers and comes after the US manufacturer agreed to fit a computerized third-sensor system on the next version of the plane, the 230-seat 737 MAX 10, followed by retrofits on the rest of the fleet later.
Seeking Alpha says “EASA expects to lift its technical ban “not long” after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, probably in November, but national operational clearances needed for individual airlines to resume flying in Europe could take longer, Ky told French aerospace journalists.”
The 737 MAX was grounded in March last year after two fatal crashes claimed 346 lives.
Last week the chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board endorsed the proposed safety upgrades for the 737 MAX, paving the way for the FAA to lift its ban on the 737 MAX before the end of the year.
The 737 MAX is now a virtually a new plane from the perspective of flight control and systems and has been exhaustively tested over the last 18 months.
The US FAA has employed 40 engineers, inspectors, pilots, and technical support staff in 60,000 hours of work to tick off the changes.
Those numbers are however minor compared to the effort Boeing has made to build multiple layers of protection to make the 737 MAX the safest it can possibly be.
Helping to achieve that Boeing has held 20 conferences with over 1,100 participants from 250 organizations and has involved 565 pilots from 141 airlines to gain feedback on design changes.