The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) intends to approve the recertification of the Boeing 737 MAX by the end of January 2021, allowing it to return to the skies of the European Union almost two years after its grounding.
“For us, the MAX will be able to fly again starting next week,” EASA director Patrick Ky said in a video conference with the Luftfahrt-Presse-Club, the German association of aviation journalists. “We have reached the point where our four main demands have been fulfilled.” The EASA should thus soon publish an Airworthiness Directive allowing the aircraft to return to service.
The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 following two crashes that killed 346 people in total. After the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), inherent to the aircraft, was found to be the main cause of both crashes, a recertification of the aircraft was ordered by aviation authorities around the world.
The US Federal Aviation Administration was the first authority to unground the Boeing 737 MAX on November 18, 2020, soon followed up by Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC). On January 18, 2021, Transport Canada (TC) issued its own Airworthiness Directive reinstating the aircraft.