Canada Takes First Step in Allowing Boeing 737 Max to Fly Again
(Bloomberg) -- Canadian transportation authorities validated changes to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max ordered by U.S. regulators, putting the jetliner a step closer to flying again in the northern nation.
In a statement Thursday morning, Transport Canada said it has completed its review of design fixes mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration in November -- calling it “an important first step” toward re-certification. The plane was grounded in March 2019 after a crash in Ethiopia killed 157 people, including 18 Canadians.
“The return to service is complex, and Transport Canada must put in place comprehensive safety plans that require additional aircraft changes, maintenance and training,” the government agency said.
A decision to re-certify the aircraft hinges on Boeing making modifications to the 737 Max’s design so pilots can quiet the so-called “stick shaker” warning system when it has been erroneously activated, which can distract them and lead to additional work during an emergency.
Before allowing the jet to fly again, Canadian regulators want to see a training syllabus for each domestic airline and for maintenance to be conducted on all aircraft after extended time in storage. Pilots will also need to complete new training, including on the new flight-deck procedure.
Transport Canada said it expects to publish an airworthiness directive in January outlining the mandatory design changes. It will issue specific training orders at the same time.
The Ethiopia crash that prompted the longest aircraft grounding in U.S. was the second fatal incident involving the jetliner. A 737 Max went down in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 people.
“Commercial flight restrictions for the operation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in Canadian airspace remain in effect and will not be lifted until Transport Canada is fully satisfied that all its safety concerns have been addressed,” the agency said.
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