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FAA Official Concurs With Boeing Assessment On 737 MAX Return To Service

Airliner Is Now Expected To Be Carrying Passengers Again In December

The FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety said last week that the agency anticipates that the Boeing 737 MAX will be returned to revenue service in December of this year following two accidents which resulted in a total of 346 people five months apart.

Speaking at an aviation conference in Cologne, Germany last week, Associate Administrator Ali Bahrami said despite being "under a lot of pressure", the airplane will be returned to service "when we believe it will be safe," according to a report from Bloomberg. That will follow reviews of the design, flight testing and other checks. Given those conditions Bahrami said it would not be prudent to try to assign an exact date to the return to service, but that Boeing CEO Dennis Muilengurg's assessment that the airplane could begin flying again by the end of this year was likely accurate.

The FAA has previously said that there is no set time frame for a return to service for the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March. U.S. airlines have been extending the removal of the airplane from their schedules. American Airlines Group and Southwest Airlines have cancelled all 737 MAX flights through at least September 3, while Bloomberg reports that United Continental Holdings may still be considering a resumption of flights in August.

In a separate interview, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky has said that his agency is also assessing Boeing's proposed fix, and is considering whether to add additional simulator training for pilots and potential design changes.

Boeing has slowed production of the 737 MAX to 42 per month. The company had projected the manufacture of as many as 57 planes per month in the second half of this year.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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