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Dickson Outlines Steps For 737 MAX Return To Service

Airliners Have Been Grounded For 11 Months

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said there is a "waterfall" of actions that need to be completed to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service.

Dickson (pictured) spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the Singapore Air Show this week. He said there is still no firm timetable for recertification of the beleaguered airplane or its return to flight. But he did say certifications flights are coming.

Reuters reports that Dickson said there are multiple steps that will be taken between the certification flights and a return to service, which he estimates will take about a month barring any unforeseen issues that may arise during those flight tests. Individual airline's training plans will also have to be approved by the FAA.

Among the milestones outlined by Dickson were:

  • Certification flight test by FAA pilots to evaluate the compliance of final software, revised following the crashes.
  • Analysis of flight data, expected to take “a few days”.
  • Multi-regulator Joint Operational Evaluation Board (JOEB) simulator exercises to evaluate Boeing’s training proposals. Dickson and his deputy will personally complete the training alongside U.S. and international crews. Takes 9-10 days.
  • An addendum to a Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report, which in turn defines minimum training needs. “It will take a few days to complete that,” Dickson said.
  • The result will be put out to public comment for 15 days.

After final design documentation is prepared and verified, a master Minimum Equipment List will be established after public comments that have been sought since Dec 5.

Eventually, the FAA will publish an AD advising airlines of required corrective actions, and "within a day or two" the FAA would rescind the grounding order that has been in effect since last March. The FAA will then issue airworthiness certificates for each individual airplane.

Some of the tasks will be carried out concurrently, according to Dickson.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report


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