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Thu, Aug 22, 2019

Boeing 737 MAX Panel Expected To Recommend Changes In Certification Procedures

Report From The JATR Expected As Early As Next Week

The international panel formed following two fatal accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX is expected to release its final report as early as next week, and a person familiar with the workings of the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) say it is likely to include a recommendation to the FAA that it make major changes in the way it certifies aircraft.

Business Insider relays a report from CNN that the unnamed source said that it is not known if the FAA will accept or implement the recommendations, or if they will even be publicly disclosed. Details of the recommendation were not offered by the source.

The Boeing 737 MAX was not subjected to the full certification process, since Boeing said it was simply an "update" of an existing aircraft. The planemaker was allowed to "self-certify" certain elements of the airplane under the Organization Designation Authorization program, which the FAA says is common but remains somewhat controversial. The ODA is necessary, the FAA contends, because of the large volume of work needed to certify a modern airplane.

The work if the JATR is separate from the review of software updates being developed by Boeing to prevent any future malfunctions of the MCAS system that has been implicated in the two accidents. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has indicated that the update should be submitted to the FAA in September.

In a statement, the FAA said that it certification of the 737 MAX "is the subject of several independent reviews and investigations that will examine all aspects of the five-year effort. While the agency's certification processes are well-established and have consistently produced safe aircraft designs, we welcome the scrutiny from these experts and look forward to their findings. We will carefully review all recommendations and will incorporate any changes that would improve our certification activities."

(Image from file)

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