Boeing 737 Max still undergoing safety reviews

Cheryl Sanders
October 10, 2019

Boeing CEO Muilenburg has conceded that Boeing faces a phased-in approval process for the plane to return to service as other aviation authorities around the world consider whether or not to follow the FAA's lead.

"I'm not going to certify this plane until I'm satisfied", he said.

American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX jets sit parked at a facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 10, 2019.

As for customers who had been booked on a 737 Max flight through January 6, 2020, they will be automatically accommodated on the same flights operated by a 737-800 with the same seat configuration, American said. Delivered every Tuesday & Thursday.

Among other US airlines that operate the MAX, Southwest Airlines Co. has canceled flights through January 5 and United Airlines Holdings Inc. until December 19. "The FAA will lift the aircraft's prohibition order when it is deemed safe to do so".

The airline ceased flying the plane on federal orders to ground all 737 MAX aircraft after the model was involved in two crashes-Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Air Flight 302 in March-that left 346 people dead.

The FAA had requested carriers inspect a total of 165 Boeing 737 NG jets within seven days after a structural crack was found on a small number of planes. FAA Communications Manager Lynn Lunsford told Newsweek, "The FAA is following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 MAX to passenger service".

Boeing said earlier this year that it's taking a "comprehensive, disciplined approach" to resolving the safety issues, but it repeatedly stated that it hoped the aircraft would be cleared for reintroduction to flight schedules in the fourth quarter.

At a meeting in September, FAA administrators met with safety regulators and experts to ensure that updates made to the 737 MAX would meet safety standards.

Boeing plans to revise the 737 MAX software to take input from both of its angle-of-attack sensors in the anti-stall system linked to the two deadly crashes and has added additional safeguards. Boeing is working on changes to flight-control software and computers.

It could also raise costs for Boeing, which in July took a $5 billion charge against its earnings for compensation it expects to provide to its airline customers due to the 737 Max grounding. Boeing said the suit is "merit-less". According to the airline, other aircraft types will be substituted on scheduled MAX routes to avoid flight cancellations.

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