In the United States, aircraft manufacturing firm Boeing says it’s ready to move forward now that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the green light to resume operations with its 737 MAX airplanes – the model with design flaws that led to the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302.
The planes have been grounded all over the world since the March 2019 accident, which claimed 157 lives when the pilots took off safely from Addis Ababa but were unable to override automated systems just a few minutes into the flight.
Ethiopia’s accident followed the 2018 crash of Indonesia’s Lion Air Flight 610, which claimed the lives of all 189 people on board when pilots encountered the same problem with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). Boeing has spent the last 20 months working to correct the problems and return the 737 MAX series aircraft to service.
“We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations,” said David Calhoun, chief executive officer of The Boeing Company. “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 has required new software enhancements, design modifications and additional pilot training.
“The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”
Image: Bole International Airport file