The Boeing 737 MAX has taken another key step towards rehabilitation after the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a draft report on revised training procedures for the troubled plane.
The report from the Flight Standardisation Board will be open for comment until November 2 and adds new training requirements to deal with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) system involved in two fatal crashes.
The crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed a total of 346 people and led to the MAX being grounded in March last year.
The draft report includes recommendations from the Joint Operations Evaluation Board involving civil aviation authorities from the US, Canada, Brazil and the EU.
It calls for pilots to undergo simulator training before they can resume flying the MAX that includes dealing with multiple alerts for unusual conditions.
Some commentators are predicting the MAX will be “ungrounded’ as early as November but the FAA cautioned there are still key milestones before the plane can fly again.
These include a review of Boeing’s final design documentation to evaluate compliance with all FAA regulations and the issuing of a Continuing the International Community (CANIC) and an Airworthiness Directive advising operators of corrective actions needed before the aircraft can re-enter service.
The FAA will also perform in-person and individual reviews of all new 737 MAX aircraft manufactured since the grounding as well as review and approve operator training.
The FAA noted other jurisdictions would make their own decisions on the MAX.
“These actions are applicable only to U.S. air carriers and U.S.-registered aircraft,’’ it said on its website.
“While our processes will inform other civil aviation authorities, they must take their own actions to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service for their air carriers.
“The FAA will ensure that our international counterparts have all necessary information to make a timely, safety-focused decision.”
Boeing said in a statement that it was working closely with the FAA and other global regulators to meet their expectations as it worked closely to return the MAX to service.
The new development came after FAA administrator Steve Dickson recently flew the plane and said he liked what he saw.