U.S. moves closer to 737 Max OK
Federal safety regulators are moving closer to letting the grounded Boeing 737 Max fly again with changes that Boeing made to the plane after two deadly crashes.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that “in the near future” it will issue a proposed safety directive for the plane. The agency gave no indication, however, of when it might lift its March 2019 order that grounded the plane.
The FAA said it would allow 45 days for public comment on Boeing’s proposed changes to the plane and pilot-training procedures to address problems found during investigations of the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which together killed 346 people.
Investigators have focused on a flightcontrol system, new to the Max, that pushed the nose of both planes down based on faulty readings from sensors.
The FAA said posting the proposed airworthiness directive is an “important milestone,” but a “number of key steps remain” before passengers are allowed back on Max jets. Boeing and the FAA recently flew a series of test flights.
Nearly 400 Max jets were in service around the world when they were grounded, and since then Boeing has built several hundred more that have stacked up at company facilities.
A Boeing 737 MAX jet takes a test flight in June.