Despite messages that Boeing is working as quickly as possible to resolve the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, Boeing has yet to actually submit the software fix for the aircraft to the FAA.
This news comes at a frustrating time for airlines who have had their fleet of 737 MAX aircraft grounded, costing them upwards of millions of dollars according to a story published on Reuters.
What are the details?
On Wednesday, airlines and airspace regulators will be meeting in Montreal to discuss the current 737 MAX grounding, and to better understand the requirements to get these aircraft flying again.
The 737 MAX series was grounded a few months ago following two accidents which killed over 300 people. The culprit was a software error that caused the nose of the aircraft to point to the ground, following the false readings from a broken sensor.
Over 500 737 MAX jets have been grounded (around 350 which were in active service, and a lot more waiting to be delivered to patient customers) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has decided to bring key stakeholders together. As the grounding of the aircraft was so chaotic (with some countries doing it far later than others, including FAA), IATA wants to ‘shore up trust among regulators and improve coordination’ if there are any future events like this.
But, the primary mission of this meeting is to discuss future steps towards getting the 737 MAX back in the air.
However, one thing they are still waiting for is for Boeing to present a fix for the aircraft. This fix would need to undergo deep scrutiny, with sign off from all members of the IATA before being implemented in the aircraft.
Why has Boeing not presented a fix yet?
Currently, Boeing has not given an accurate date of finding and implementing a fix for the aircraft, despite promises to get the aircraft back in the air as soon as possible.
But, even if the aircraft fix is approved on the spot by IATA, it will take some time to retrain 737 MAX pilots and remove the aircraft from storage. Some airlines have said that this process alone could take more than a month.
Pilots could be trained prior to the plane returning to service using 737 MAX simulators. Although this is an expensive process, it would ensure that any new lessons taught by Boeing were understood by the ones flying the aircraft. Boeing disagrees
“Training is up to each regulator. When the MAX returns to the skies, with the updated software and required training, it will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly,” Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman said to Reuters.
Air Canada is less trusting, and has said that their 400 pilots who are trained to fly the Boeing 737 MAX will fly in a simulator. Air Canada is the only airline in North America to own a Boeing 737 MAX simulator, an option that is not feasible for most other carriers.
What do you think? Should Boeing provide more for the airlines affected by the 737 MAX situation? Let us know in the comments.