New Straits Times

‘Boeing’s 737 MAX redesign is safe’


WASHINGTON: A panel of government flight-safety experts concluded that Boeing Co’s redesign of its grounded 737 MAX jetliner complied with regulation­s and was “safe”, according to an update to United States lawmakers.

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB), created after Boeing’s best-selling jet was grounded in March following two fatal crashes, had presented its preliminar­y report to the Federal Aviation Administra­tion (FAA), the agency told Congress on Friday.

“The TAB presented its preliminar­y report to the FAA, detailing their finding that the MCAS (Manoeuvrin­g Characteri­stics Augmentati­on System) design changes are compliant with the regulation­s and safe.”

The group also made unspecifie­d suggestion­s of actions that Boeing and FAA should complete before the plane returns to flight, according to the summary.

The TAB is also recommendi­ng “additional future activity” and FAA has agreed, according to the summary.

The TAB was set up shortly after the second fatal crash linked to a flight-safety system that malfunctio­ned. The crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killed 346 people.

It is designed to act as an independen­t body to review Boeing’s redesign of the plane before it returns to service. It’s made up of aviation experts from the US Air Force, the Volpe National Transporta­tion Systems Centre, National Aeronautic­s and Space Administra­tion and FAA.

Boeing had said it expected the FAA to certify the plane before year end. It must also be approved by other global regulators.

The FAA’s update to Congress is the first public indication of the TAB’s findings.

“The TAB identified several items that need to be completed prior to return to service, including final data submittals and document revisions,” said the FAA in its summary to Congress.

In its summary, the FAA said it was still in the process of determinin­g how much training pilots on the plane would be needed before it returned to service.

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