The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) gave final clearance for the Boeing 737 Max to fly in Europe once again.
EASA, the Europe’s air safety agency issued the directive on January 27. The agency mentions that “a package of software upgrades, electrical wiring rework, maintenance checks, operations manual updates, and crew training’’ allow the aircraft type to fly safely after nearly two years of worldwide grounding.
The EASA decision comes almost 3 months later after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permitted the 737 Max to return to service in the U.S.
“Following extensive analysis by EASA, we have determined that the 737 MAX can safely return to service. This assessment was carried out in full independence of Boeing or the Federal Aviation Administration and without any economic or political pressure,” said the EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky.
The Boeing 737 MAX was suspended from flying after two fatal accidents in late 2018 and in early 2019 involving the type. As a result of the accidents 346 passengers and crew perished.
A faulty piece of automated flight control called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) became the most probable cause for the crashes and in the center of the crash investigations.
In both accidents the MCAS repeatedly tried to force the nose of the aircraft downwards while the pilots were trying to get the plain to clime. As a result the aircraft ultimately was pushed into the ground by entering an unrecoverable dive.
Decision to return to service
After in-depth investigation and review the EASA determined that certain conditions were met to allow for the battered Boeing to enter service.
The sufficient understanding of the two incidents is one of the conditions cited by EASA. Furthermore, Boeing proposed design changes to the aircraft that relate to the issues highlighted by the accidents EASA deemed satisfactory.
Mandated adequate training of the Boeing 737 MAX flight crew and independent design review by EASA also played a role in the final approval decision of the European air safety agency.
Moreover, to increase transparency the EASA published a 20-page report outlining thoroughly what took place into the decision to allow the 737 Max to return to service.
The Max in Europe
Europe‘s largest airline, Ryanair, is expected to operate in total of 210 Max aircraft now on order from Boeing.
The International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) intends put in service 200 aircraft across its network followed by Turkish Airlines with 75, and TUI Group with 72.
IAG is a consolidation of British Airways, Iberia, BMI, Vueling, Aer Lingus, and Air Europa