Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, is satisfied with the changes Boeing has made to the grounded 737 Max, and expects the aircraft to resume flying before the end of the year.
Ky told Bloomberg that EASA was currently performing final document reviews following test flights in September. A draft airworthiness directive is expected to be issued by the agency in November. Interestingly, Ky’s comments comes even though Boeing is yet to implement a software upgrade that his agency sought.
“Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us,” Ky said. “What we discussed with Boeing is the fact that with the third sensor, we could reach even higher safety levels.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing’s main certification body, is yet to comment publicly on when the aircraft will resume flying. “I completed a number of test profiles today to examine the functionality of the aircraft and I liked what I saw, so it responded well,” FAA Chief Steve Dickson told reporters after flying the Max last month.
The plane was grounded globally in March last year, following two crashes in the space of five months that killed 346 people. Investigating authorities said the crashes were caused in part by a flawed automated flight control system, called MCAS. Global aviation authorities, including EASA, grounded the aircraft before FAA did and have also said they would adhere to their own review process and wouldn’t clear the jet’s return to the skies just because FAA did.
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