The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has been invited by the FAA and Boeing to inspect the Boeing 737 MAX changes.
CASA is one of eight different aviation authorities convening to discuss whether to allow the Boeing MAX series back in their skies after the disasters that killed over 300 people.
What are the details?
After the second Boeing MAX aircraft crashed, CASA was quick to ground any affected aircraft operating in Australian airspace. This did not affect any Australian carriers (as none have the MAX) but did affect Fiji Airways who had to quickly recall their 737 MAX 8 from Sydney to prevent it being grounded. Our reporter Jay rode on their MAX 8 and his review can be found here.
Virgin Australia does have 40 MAX aircraft on order (due to arrive in late 2019), comprising 30 737 MAX 8s and 10 737 MAX 10s.
“Virgin Australia will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety. We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work with Boeing, CASA, and other relevant authorities as more information becomes available. ” – Virgin Australia Statement
Who else has been invited by Boeing?
CASA will be joined a panel dubbed the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR), alongside other countries such as:
- Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC)
- Canada’s Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA)
- China’s Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)
- European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
- Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB)
- Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
- Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
- United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (UAE GCAA)
As well as the FAA representing the USA. Each of these authorities was invited as they managed airlines that have ordered or operate the 737 MAX family in their respective country. Careful readers will notice that there is a lack of representation from Africa, which involved one of the accidents.
This panel will convene on the 29th of April and is allowed to take up to 90 days to decide whether to allow the 737 MAX 8 to fly in their skies.
“The team will evaluate aspects of the 737 MAX automated flight control system, including its design and pilots’ interaction with the system, to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancements that might be needed,” – FAA statement.
So far, Boeing has completed 120 flights with the updated 737 MAX 8, performing flights recreating the crash conditions. Additionally, the software update fixing the autopilot has been released to airlines flight simulators, allowing their pilots to practice and understand how to avoid the problem in future.
Whether or not this is enough to prevent future accidents is unknown, but its the first in many steps to getting the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft back into Australian skies.
What do you think? Should the 737 MAX fly in Australia? Let us know in the comments!