The Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) today reauthorized the operation of the Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil, after a process that took more than one and a half years. It is the second international regulator to recertify the MAX, after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the US.
ANAC withdrew the Emergency Airworthiness Directive
ANAC concluded on Wednesday “a long independent work to reauthorize the operation of the aircraft model Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil.” It added that the process took almost two years. “The validation of the modifications of the project was made by ANAC after the approval of the certifying authority, the FAA,” said the regulator in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
Now, ANAC is withdrawing the Emergency Airworthiness Directive that restricted the operation of MAX in Brazil. Currently, only GOL Linhas Aereas has a Boeing 737 MAX fleet in Brazil. It operates seven aircraft of this model and has a standing order of 95 more.
Unlike other international regulators, Brazil is putting most of its trust in the FAA process. ANAC said,
“The FAA Directive of Airworthiness, released on 20 November, was also adopted by ANAC. It has automatic force in Brazil and should be fulfilled immediately by airline operators that wish to operate the model.”
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Were there any changes made?
Last week, after FAA approved the MAX, the Brazilian aviation regulator said it was also in the final steps of its recertification process. Rafael Botelho, president of ANAC, said,
“This effort is an example of cooperation among civil aviation authorities. Few countries have the experience to recertify a system that is so complex. In the meantime, ANAC works with independent evaluators. We are securing that all the requirements are fulfilled for the safe return of this aircraft in Brazil.”
Now, ANAC has shed more light on the certification process. Among the design requirements, it asked for a reconfiguration of the flight control system of the MAX. ANAC also ordered the cable group’s routing correction, reviewed procedures incorporated in the flight manual, and tests of sensors recalibration. Moreover, ANAC, along with other aviation authorities, revised the pilot training program.
Roberto Honorato, ANAC Superintendent of Airworthiness, said the thorough evaluation of the flight control system is an unprecedented milestone in aviation history.
Now, what happens?
Last week, GOL Linhas Aereas said it was ready to put its Boeing 737 MAX back in the air. The Brazilian airline said to Simple Flying that once ANAC authorized the aircraft’s use, it would return the MAX into service in the next 30 days.
Moreover, GOL added that it was working on guaranteeing all the technical and operational requirements, including pilot and crew training.
The Brazilian airline is eager to fly again its MAX. Brazil is having a nice recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In that sense, GOL needs all the help it can get to push back its capacity to pre-COVID levels.
Meanwhile, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) indicated yesterday that it would approve the return of the MAX to European skies in the next few weeks. It said that the MAX could fly again by mid-January.
Are you expecting to travel in a MAX anytime soon? Let us know in the comments.