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EU confirms date to begin 737 MAX safety testing

written by Hannah Dowling | August 28, 2020
An artist rendition of the Boeing 737 MAX. (Source: Australian Aviation archives).

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has officially confirmed that it will begin its own independent testing on changes made to the Boeing 737 MAX in the week beginning 7 September.

The European body intends to conduct these tests in Vancouver, Canada, as global authorities work to ascertain when the troubled aircraft can take to the skies once more.

Up to now, the EASA has been reluctant to comment on when it would conduct its own safety tests on the revised 737 MAX, however has now changed its tune off the back of testing conducted both in the US and Canada.

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“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 agency said.

The decision to announce a schedule for these tests comes a little over two months after US civil aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), conducted the first tests in conjunction with Boeing, and just days after Transport Canada began its own independent testing of the updated aircraft.

Following the completion of the EASA’s tests, regulators from Canada, Europe and Brazil will join forces with Boeing on the Joint Operational Evaluation Board, which will evaluate and propose necessary changes to pilot training on the revised 737 MAX.

This will reportedly be achieved using pilots from all countries involved and simulation exercises.

Should these reviews of the 737 MAX’s safety changes and upgrades, as well as revised training protocols, not raise new concerns, the FAA will issue and order to revoke the grounding of the plane.

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While Boeing previously specified it will resume deliveries on the 737 MAX in the fourth quarter, analysts believe that the troubled plane will not return to commercial service until at least 2021.

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