Boeing 737 Max won't return to skies 'until I fly it myself,' FAA head says

FAA working with international regulators on safety review

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Boeing’s 737 MAX jets won’t return to service until he’s confident enough in its safety to fly one himself.

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FAA Administrator Steve Dickson talked about the aircraft’s review while speaking at an industry group’s event in London Thursday. The FAA’s decision will be based on its assessment of Boeing’s proposed software updates and pilot training, he said.

“When we finally make the decision to return this aircraft to service, it will be the most scrutinized aircraft in history,” Dickson said, according to the FAA’s Twitter. “I am not going to sign off on this aircraft until I fly it myself.”

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Boeing’s 737 MAX jets were grounded worldwide last year after two crashes that killed a combined 346 people.

Dickson said the global review of the troubled jet would “raise the bar on global aviation safety,” noting that several independent reviews have been launched to look at the MAX and the FAA’s approval processes. He said the FAA’s relationship with other regulators, such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, remains strong.

“We’re sitting down and listening,” Dickson said. “We’ve received valuable input to date, and more will be forthcoming. I firmly believe that willingness to accept critique is a sign of humility and transparency. It’s also a strength.”

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In this Dec. 16, 2019, file photo, Boeing 737 Max jets sit parked in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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Meanwhile, Boeing said Thursday it was still estimating a mid-2020 return to service for the MAX jets, even with a new software update to address an indicator light problem, Reuters reported.

Boeing did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

The company’s stock rose more than 10 percent Thursday on the news.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABOEING COMPANY287.76-17.83-5.83%

The indicator light for a stabilizer trim system incorrectly lit during a test flight for the updated software, according to the report.

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