Boeing 737 Max In the Final Stages Of Receiving New EASA Airworthiness Certification

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There were some good news for The Boeing Company this week as Europe’s responsible aviation safety agency EASA is in the final stages of declaring the B737 Max airworthy again.

If things progress as expected we could see the 737 MAX see in regular operation again before the end of the year in both Europe and the U.S. market as the FAA is required to make the first step in clearing the airliner as Boeing is a U.S. company.

The issues surrounding the 737 Max as well as the Coronavirus crisis that is currently decimating the aviation industry has been spelling bad news for the manufacturer since the aircraft type was grounded in March of 2019 and has since cost at least one scalp at Boeing: Ex-CEO Dennis Muilenburg.

As Bloomberg reports EASA has run all respective tests and is now reviewing final

Europe’s top aviation regulator said he’s satisfied that changes to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max have made the plane safe enough to return to the region’s skies before 2020 is out, even as a further upgrade his agency demanded won’t be ready for up to two years.

After test flights conducted in September, EASA is performing final document reviews ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue next month, said Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

That will be followed by four weeks of public comment, while the development of a so-called synthetic sensor to add redundancy will take 20 to 24 months, he said. The software-based solution will be required on the larger Max 10 variant before its debut targeted for 2022, and retrofitted onto other versions.

“Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us,” Ky said in an interview. “What we discussed with Boeing is the fact that with the third sensor, we could reach even higher safety levels.”

The comments mark the firmest endorsement yet from a major regulator of Boeing’s goal to return its beleaguered workhorse to service by year-end, following numerous delays and setbacks. …

While the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing’s main certification body, is further along in its review, it has held back from making predictions about the timing. FAA chief Steve Dickson flew the Max late last month and said the plane’s controls felt “very comfortable,” but the review process wasn’t complete.

The FAA must act before EASA and other agencies around the world can lift the grounding, under international law. Boeing hasn’t submitted its final package of documentation including software audits and safety assessments, said a person familiar with the process who wasn’t permitted to speak publicly. The submissions are expected soon. …

This is both good and bad news depending from what position one is looking at this development.

Boeing is certainly the winner of this situation if you call it that way after losing Billions since the accidents and uncountable amounts of reputation. At least the company now has something on the horizon to look at and they will likely rename the aircraft by dropping the MAX addition as it is absolutely tainted from the entire affair. Current and future versions will likely just be called 737-8, 737-9 etc.

Airlines now have a problem. Following the certification they now have to take the aircraft from the manufacturer (Boeing) and pay for them. This was put on ice while the 737 MAX wasn’t airworthy but once the plane is in the clear again Boeing can deliver the re-calibrated models.

This ties in with the customers who really don’t trust the MAX and there is a good number of people who at least say they won’t fly this aircraft no matter which airline operates it. If they follow through with that threat… who knows but what are you supposed to do as an airline if you suddenly have plenty of planes in your fleet that customers refuse to fly on?

Back in May of this year Boeing managed to collect a massive $25 Billion though a bond offering in order to back the company up financially for the next few year amid a slumping market for new aircraft.

Conclusion

There very little choice other than renaming the MAX and move on with it, hoping a random generic model number like 737-8 or 737-9 without the obvious MAX moniker will let people forget what type of aircraft they’re actually flying on. Let’s keep in mind that the public doesn’t know any more about planes than what can be read in newspapers and is shown on TV.

Hopefully Boeing can finally put this matter to rest and learned a lesson from this disaster surrounding production failures, negligence, rush jobs and cover ups. The company still has other issues on their plate like production problems with the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, bad tankers they tried to deliver to the Air Force which in turn refused to accept the planes after loose parts were found in the fuel tanks among other things. Boeing needs to work hard in order to get their once stellar reputation back. It’s really sad to see what happened there.

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