Transport Canada (TC), the authority responsible for transportation policies within Canada, issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for the Boeing 737 MAX, essentially un-grounding the aircraft within the Canadian airspace.
TC issued the AD on January 18, 2020, outlining the steps airlines have to take in order to be able to fly the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft within Canadian airspace. Much like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Canadian authority will require operators to install an update on the Flight Control Computer (FCC) and the MAX Display Software (MDS), which will add an Angle Of Attack (AOA) Disagree Alert. Furthermore, Horizontal Stabilizer wiring, which runs from the cockpit to the horizontal stabilizer itself will have to be physically unbundled. Carriers will also have to install an ivory yellow-colored cap on the stick shaker’s circuit breaker (CB) button.
The caps on the stick shaker’s CB was mandated to “effectively reduce pilot workload given what has been learned from the two tragic accidents,” argued the authority, outlining that this was a design difference from the FAA.
Following an adjustment to the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) to reflect the newest changes to the Boeing 737 MAX, operators will have to conduct an AOA Sensor System test and as the final step, fly an operational readiness flight before the aircraft can once again carry passengers in Canada. However, before pilots could fly the aircraft, they will have to go through simulator-based training. Canadian authorities completed their independent review of the ill-fated jet on December 17, 2020.
TC will lift the aircraft’s airspace restriction (NOTAM) on January 20, 2021, at 11:59 PM local time (UTC -6). Thus, other airlines’ 737 MAX will also be able to land and depart from Canada as soon as January 21, 2021.
The FAA un-grounded the Boeing 737 MAX on November 18, 2020, becoming the first worldwide authority to do so, followed up by Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), which did so eight days later. So far, the airlines to operate the Boeing 737 MAX commercially were American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), Aeromexico and GOL Linhas Aereas. The aircraft was grounded in March 2019, after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and in Ethiopia claimed the lives of 346 people.
WestJet outlined that the carrier has been preparing for the return of the aircraft and is seemingly ready to fly the jet as soon as the NOTAM is lifted.
“As we continue working with Transport Canada on the additional Canadian requirements, our first MAX will be ready to return safely to service as of January 21,” stated Ed Sims, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WestJet in early-January 2021. In addition to WestJet, Air Canada (ADH2) and Sunwing have Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in their fleet.