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Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX cleared to fly again in Europe

Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded in March 2019 following the crash of two of the aircraft models. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A Boeing airplane grounded after two deadly accidents will be cleared to return to European airspace before the end of the year after the EU’s top aviation regulator said changes made to plane were satisfactory.

The green light comes after the EU’s aviation agency EASA completed a series of test flights with Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane, the company’s best selling craft before it was hit by worldwide groundings in early 2019.

The model has been banned from flying following two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, which took place months apart from each other and which killed a combined 346 people.

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EASA head Patrick Ky told Bloomberg that the agency’s considered that the level of safety reached by the airplane was “high enough.”

Ky said that talks were ongoing with Boeing regarding the addition of a third sensor to the craft, which would act as a safeguard if two other sensors, identified as the culprits of the deadly crashes, fail.

He added that the EASA was reviewing final documents before issuing an airworthiness directive expected within a month, but said that they expected that developing the third sensor would take between 20 and 24 four months.

The EU agency’s green light comes as the United States’ air travel regulator, the FAA, continues its review of the aircraft, declines to issue any comments on the process.

The FAA’s director took part in a test flight in September which he said was comfortable but said that the process was not complete.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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