- Boeing’s 737 Max has been classified as safe enough by the EU regulatory authority
- The first major permit for flying is expected to be issued before 2021
- Planes have been grounded since March 2019 after two crashes
European Union regulators stand ready to get Boeing’s 737 Max grounded aircraft back into service before year end. “Our analysis shows that this is safe and that the level of security achieved is high enough for us,” said Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, in an interview with Bloomberg. “What we discussed with Boeing is the fact that we can achieve even higher levels of safety with the third sensor.”
Test flights have been conducted last month and EASA is currently conducting final document reviews before a draft airworthiness policy is released next month, Ky says. After that, four weeks are allowed to post public comments. The new Ky sensor mentioned will only be ready for use in 20 to 24 months. As such, it will be retrofitted on aircraft and will be a requirement for the larger 737 Max 10 model when it hits the market in 2022.
This green light of the second largest market for the 737 Max is driving Boeing shares higher in pre-market trading. A big question for the future will be whether passengers are ready to climb on board. The 737 Max was one of the greatest disasters in aviation history. In two crashes in 2018 and 2019, more than 300 people were killed due to faulty software in the aircraft. Boeing and US airlines regulators were beaten up for negligence. CEO Dennis Muilenburg resigned late last year because of the debacle. Boeing removed more than 1,000 737 Max aircraft from its order book in 2020, either due to full cancellations or the ASC 606 accounting rule when payment is in doubt.
The competitive company, which is also addressing 787 Dreamliner production issues and the drop in demand due to the pandemic, delivered just 11 aircraft in September, versus French rival Airbus ’57. The two companies are also at the center of a trade dispute at the WTO between the US and the European Union.