The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has declared Boeing 737 Max safe to fly saying changes made to the aeroplane have made it safe enough to return to Europe’s skies before the end of this year.
Other upgrades recommended by EASA for the aircraft will however not be ready for another two years.
“Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us,” said Patrick, EASA Executive Director. “What we discussed with Boeing is the fact that with the third sensor, we could reach even higher safety levels.”
EASA is performing final document reviews ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue in November.
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Boeing 737 Max was grounded in March last year following two fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people in 2018 and 2019.
The accidents flung Boeing into a crisis that cost the firm billions of dollars.
Investigations pointed to a problem with the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. This automated control system was designed to stabilise the plane and compensate for the more powerful engines used on the 737 Max compared to previous versions.
Boeing orders have been dwindling following the 737 Max fatal crashes and alleged quality flaws in the 787 Dreamliner.
The aircraft manufacturer lost another three orders for its grounded 737 Max jetliner in September, and delivered 11 total aircraft to customers, less than half the number from the same month a year ago, company data showed.
As Boeing works to win regulatory approval to fly the 737 Max again in the United States, the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt demand for jets from both Boeing and European rival Airbus.