World Media

Boeing 737 Max cleared to fly again by United States regulators

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Boeing Max aircraft will remain grounded in Canada for now

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson is "100% confident" in the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX but says the airplane maker has more to do as it works to improve its safety culture.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the approval followed "an unprecedented level of collaborative and independent reviews by aviation authorities around the world". The pilots were not aware of the existence of this software since it was not in the flight manuals.

Dickson on Wednesday signed an order to allow the best-selling plane to resume flights after it was grounded worldwide in March 2019 following two crashes that killed 346 people and led to Boeing's biggest crisis in decades. Boeing was cited for rushing to implement a new software system that put profits over safety; ultimately its CEO was sacked.

The cause of the two crashes was identified as a faulty safety system that was supposed to keep the plane from stalling as it ascended but instead forced the nose of the plane downward.

Dickson said he emphasized to Boeing the importance of safety. "These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity".

The FAA announcement lifted shares of Boeing, which replaced its chief executive and several other top executives in the wake of the crisis.

"It does sting, because we're once again reminded that this plane is going to be back in the air - and it's the plane that killed my daughter, Danielle, and 156 others", he said.

But family members who lost loved ones in the crash blasted the decision, according to a statement from Clifford Law Offices, which is representing the families in litigation. USA airlines are permitted to fly the Max after the Boeing Company changes computers and computer software on each plane. That happened less than five months after another Max, flown by Indonesia's Lion Air, crashed in the Java Sea. "We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide", Deal said.

Dickson, in an interview with CNBC, said the changes to the jet "makes it impossible for the airplanes to have the same kind of accidents".

"Despite its inability to undertake revenue operations, the company continues to incur various costs with respect to these aircraft", the airline said in a regulatory filing on November 11. The Max case is unusual, but Hansman said he would feel safe flying on a Max.

FAA approved the "return to service" of 737 Max with extensive fixes. United expects to start using the plane early next year, while Southwest said its Max jets won't fly before the second quarter of 2021.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said in a statement Wednesday that Canada will impose different requirements than the US before it lifts the grounding orders for the plane, including additional procedures on the flight deck and pre-flight and differences in training for flight operators.

Transport Canada expects its review to wrap up soon.

In a show of independence, Canada and Brazil said on Wednesday they were continuing their own reviews but expected to conclude the process soon, illustrating how the 737 MAX crashes upended a once US -dominated airline safety system in which nations large and small for decades moved in lock-step with the FAA.

But the news came as a blow to families of the crash victims, including Mr Ryan's widow Naoise Ryan who told Reuters "our family was broken".