Twenty-two months after Boeing 737 MAX was grounded following two fatal crashes, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has disclosed that plans have been concluded to authorise the plane for flying again next week.
The body said that the authorisation had become imperative after a team of experts has certified the Boeing 737 Max fit for the resumption of flights and that the planemaker has met its demands.
The EASA Director, Patrick Ky, said that the European Union would be welcoming flights from the plane from next week and that landing would be granted to Boeing in any country under the union.
Briefing newsmen on Tuesday, ky said that MAX would be able to fly again starting next week after the publication of a directive clearing the jet.
“We have reached the point where our four main demands have been fulfilled,” Ky said during the conference, organised by the German association of aviation journalists.
The MAX was grounded in March 2019 after two crashes that together killed 346 people — the 2018 Lion Air disaster in Indonesia and an Ethiopian Airlines crash the following year.
Investigators said the main cause of both crashes was a faulty flight handling system known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS.
Meant to keep the plane from stalling as it ascends, the automated system instead, forced the nose of the plane downward.
The findings plunged Boeing into crisis, with more than 650 orders for the 737 MAX canceled since last year.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered Boeing to revamp the jet and implement new pilot training protocols, before finally approving the plane for a return to service in November.
Ky had already indicated in October that EU approval was likely after Boeing promised a new sensor would be added to prevent the type of problems that caused the 737 crashes.