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EASA to inspect 737 Max

Europe’s EASA to start 737 Max flight tests – in Canada

Good news for Boeing: Europe's aviation authority will conduct flight tests with the Boeing 737 Max in September. Afterwards, a key meeting will take place in London.

This week, Transport Canada became the first aviation authority outside the United States to take a closer look at the improved Boeing 737 Max. When the Canadian plans became known, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had not yet announced its own flight and test dates for the 737 Max. This has now changed.

«While Boeing still has some final actions to close off, EASA judges the overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests», the European aviation regulator announced on Thursday (August 27). These tests are necessary for an approval of the changes to the aircraft type.

Key Max meeting in London

The Europeans will conduct the flight tests in Vancouver, Canada, in the week beginning on September 7. Simulator tests are planned to take place in London Gatwick the week before. The Joint Operations Evaluation Board JOEB will also meet in the British capital from September 14. This is a joint committee of the aviation authorities of Canada, Europe and Brazil on the requirements for Max pilot training. JOEB exchanges information with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

All these plans are an important step forward for Boeing. If other authorities were to wait for the American FAA to make further progress with the re-certification of the aircraft and only then start carrying out their own tests, this would mean further delays for the Max. The fact that the authorities are cooperating early on means that the Boeing 737 Max will be allowed to fly internationally not long after its certification in the USA.

Almost one and a half years on the ground

Boeing’s latest short- and medium-haul aircraft type has been grounded since March 2019. Previously, two aircraft had crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia, killing 346 people in total. The flight control software MCAS, which was a major contributor to the accidents, is now at the heart of Boeing’s changes.

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