The European Aviation Safety Agency, which regulates air travel in the region, has laid out four conditions that must be met before the grounded Boeing 737 Max can return to European skies.
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Executive Director Patrick Ky’s presentation to the European Parliament’s Transportation and Tourism Committee specified the following requirements:
- Design changes proposed by Boeing must be EASA approved (Federal Aviation Administration findings will not be accepted alone)
- Additional and broader independent design review must be satisfactorily completed by EASA
- Crashes of 737 Max planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which killed everyone aboard, must be deemed sufficiently understood
- Boeing 737 Max flight crews must be adequately trained
The Max, a best-selling upgrade of Boeing's popular single-aisle jetliner with more fuel-efficient engines, has been sidelined since the March 12 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane that killed everyone aboard. It occurred just six months after a deadly crash in Indonesia. In the months since, Boeing has halted deliveries of the plane while airlines operating it scrambled to fix flight schedules disrupted by the aircraft's grounding and the FAA grappled with questions about how and why it certified the jet as airworthy.
Investigators have focused on the jetliner's new anti-stall software system, which they believe interfered with the plane's ascent after takeoff.
The European safety agency says it's currently expending an “unprecedented level of effort” working with Boeing in its investigation, and that the remedy for the anti-stall system -- which are beleived to have erroneously determined that the downed airliners were climbing at a steep enough angle that their engines were likely to cut out -- isn't yet sufficient.
The agency said it's anticipating a week-long series of flight tests on the modified 737 Max that are set to occur at the Boeing Flight Test Center.