Washington (dpa) - Boeing's hope for a re-registration of the crisis aircraft 737 Max, which was banned after two crashes, increases.
The US aeronautical regulator FAA and the aircraft manufacturer want to start a series of decisive test flights this Monday, the agency said. The FAA has already given the green light. After more than a year of a mandatory break, Boeing would reach an important milestone, which already led to strong price gains on the stock exchange. However, there are still a few more hurdles to be cleared for re-certification.
For Boeing's best-selling 737 Max aircraft, flight bans were imposed worldwide in the course of two crashes with a total of 346 deaths in March 2019. The main cause of the accidents is a control program specially developed for the model called MCAS. Boeing had originally wanted to fix the problems with this software before the second crash, but instead there were several new defects. The debacle around the 737 Max caused enormous costs and shook confidence in the Airbus arch rivals.
Now there is a glimmer of hope: If everything goes smoothly during the hot test phase, Boeing could have a good chance of re-registering the 737 Max in the coming months. By the end of the year, airlines could then finally be able to put the accident jets back into operation. Neither the FAA nor Boeing provided any information on the more precise schedule. A spokesman for the aircraft manufacturer only emphasized that they are constantly working on being able to put the 737 Max back into operation safely.
Not only Boeing, the FAA is also under pressure because of the crashes. The manufacturer is accused of rushing to market the 737 Max in competition with Airbus and neglecting safety. The authority is accused of having closed its eyes during the original certification and letting the manufacturer fool it. Delicate Boeing internals also made the FAA appear in very poor light. In controversial employee chats about the 737 Max, for example: "This aircraft was designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys."
It is all the more accurate that Steve Dickson, who has only been in office since August 2019 - himself a former pilot - wants to have the machines checked before they are approved again. Dickson always emphasizes that there are no deadlines for his employees in the re-admission process. The FAA boss has good reasons to be meticulous. Because the authority could hardly afford to be embarrassed again. Various investigations have been carried out to determine whether everything went smoothly in the original certification of the 737 Max. There is a suspicion that Boeing has embezzled important information, which could even have criminal consequences.
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