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Brazilian regulator lifts Boeing 737 MAX ban

written by Hannah Dowling | November 26, 2020

Brazilian civil aviation regulator ANAC has announced it is lifting the grounding order on the Boeing 737 MAX, a week after the US FAA made the call.

The ANAC has cleared airlines in Brazil to resume operations on the 737 MAX as soon as all required safety software upgrades are completed, as well as new training protocols introduced.

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The Brazilian regulator said Gol Airlines, the only airline to currently operate the MAX in Brazil, is in the process of implementing the required measures in order to resume flights.

In response to the announcement, Boeing chief executive David Calhoun said, “Not a day goes by that we don’t remember, reflect and rededicate ourselves to ensuring accidents like the ones that led to the decision to suspend operations never happen again.

“Boeing worked closely with the FAA and ANAC to meet their expectations to safely return the 737 MAX to commercial service in Brazil”.

The plane has been grounded in Brazil, much like the rest of the world, since May 2019, following the second of two fatal crashes of the aircraft that killed 346 people in total.

Boeing said that since then, it has conducted “more than 4,400 hours of testing, including more than 1,350 flights”.

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Boeing also claimed that its teams of mechanics and engineers had established “appropriate maintenance processes” for the aircraft while grounded, and are now “already working to support depreservation activities for the aircraft in Brazil”.

The US Federal Aviation Administration lifted its grounding order on the aircraft last week, much to the relief of Boeing. 

The first US passenger flights on the aircraft since its 20-month grounding are set to resume on 29 December, according to American Airlines.

Meanwhile, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has said it will hold off on recertifying the aircraft for commercial service until mid-January 2021, a backflip on its previous prediction that said it, like the FAA, would lift the flight ban in November this year.

Canadian regulators are currently expected to lift the ban shortly, keeping in step with the FAA, while China, the first region to ban the jet, has made no solid commitment to when it may let the aircraft fly once more.

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