The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement Tuesday that it will fully control the approval of each new aircraft on Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft, rather than entrusting some of the work to Boeing employees. The agency also made it clear that certification of the model is unlikely to be completed this year.
For the third time in two weeks, the agency told Boeing that it would retain all the authority to issue safety certificates for the newly built 737 MAX, the Associated Press reported. The Federal Aviation Administration will lift the 737MAX ban and issue airworthiness certificates until all approval procedures have been completed.
The Federal Aviation Administration will approve more than 300 new aircraft. Boeing’s nearly 400 737MAX aircraft were not on the list before the suspension.
For months, Boeing has been making it clear that it plans to resume delivering the 737MAX aircraft to airlines in December 2019 and obtain final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration in January 2020 to allow U.S. airlines to resume using the aircraft.
However, the Federal Aviation Administration made it clear that it was unlikely to recertify the aircraft this year, NBC Business reported. They have not yet completed a review of aircraft design changes and related pilot training. Although there are only 35 days left before 2020, they will not approve the return to service until several rounds of testing have been completed.
Boeing’s 737 MAX has been banned worldwide after two crashes in less than five months that killed 346 people.
After the accident, Boeing did not stop production of the 737 MAX, but has slowed down the assembly line since April, Reuters reported.
The announcement, the media said, was the latest move by the Federal Aviation Administration to show it was independent of Boeing in its approval process. Earlier, U.S. lawmakers accused the agency of handing over too much power to aircraft manufacturers over flight permit certification, and of relying even on analysis and testing by Boeing employees without effective regulation.
In response to the FAA’s statement, Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndro said he would continue to work closely with the agency to ensure the safe return of the 737MAX fleet.
However, NBC Business Channel said it had not changed the plan when asked by the media whether Boeing would insist on restoring 737MAX commercial services by the end of January 2020. (Complete)