Following a series of test flights earlier this month, European regulators have said when they think the type could return to service in the region
The embattled Boeing 737 MAX could receive approval from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to resume operations in November, according to the regulator’s chief.
Speaking to Reuters, Patrick Ky, the executive director of EASA said: “For the first time in a year and a half I can say there’s an end in sight to work on the MAX.”
The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded worldwide following two fatal air crashes involving the type in October 2018 and March 2019. The narrowbody’s certificate of airworthiness was revoked after recurring flight control failure involving an augmentation system (MCAS) designed to mimic the pitching behaviour of its predecessors.
The organisation expects to lift the grounding “not long” after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but individual countries’ operational clearances could take longer, “we are looking at November,” he added.
Following the test flights, the organisation said in a statement that it was “analysing the data and other information gathered during the flights” and that it was working to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service “as soon as possible, but only once we are convinced it is safe”.
The jet has now been grounded worldwide for 564 days, the longest of any commercial aircraft since the four-year long ban of the de Havilland Comet in 1954.
Meanwhile, a TUI Airways example was ferried from Tenerife/South Airport to Birmingham in the UK last week. The aircraft, G-TUMF (c/n 44599) flew at just 18,000ft at 240kts, presumably to prevent the MCAS system from activating.