Just a week after U.S. Federal Aviation Administration officially approved the Boeing 737 MAX’s return to the skies, European Union Aviation Safety Agency has said that it intends to do the same in January.
“We wanted to carry out a totally independent analysis of the safety of this aircraft,” EASA’s Executive Director Patrick Ky told the Paris Air Forum, a virtual aviation conference. “So we performed our own checks and flight tests. All these studies tell us that the 737 MAX can return to service. We have started to put in place all the measures. It is likely that in our case we will adopt the decisions, allowing it to return to service, sometime in January.”
The EASA is set to publish a draft directive proposing the lifting of the grounding order next week. This will be followed by a 30-day period for comments. The result should see the official lifting of the grounding order in mid-January 2021. The EASA represents 27 countries of the European Union.
“It is clear that there were a number of dysfunctions in (FAA) actions and their relations with Boeing,” Reuters news agency quoted Ky as saying. “I won’t go into details as it is not up to me to do that. The FAA is in the process of putting in place corrective measures.”
It may be recalled that the 737 Max was grounded in March last year after two deadly crashes that killed 346 people. The FAA is the only regulatory agency to officially approve the jet’s return to service. More agencies are likely to give their green signal in the next few months.
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