The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) joins the list of regulators that have ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX. The British authority has permitted airlines to operate the aircraft type.
The CAA officially issued the Airworthiness Directive (AD) on January 27, 2021. The AD includes a list of actions that operators need to accomplish before the Boeing 737 MAX can officially carry passengers. The list includes such items as updating the Flight Control Computer (FCC) with new software, installation of new MAX Display System (MDS) Software, physically unbundling wires that go from the cockpit to the horizontal stabilizer, updating the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM). Furthermore, pilots will have to go through a redefined training program for the 737 MAX, which now includes simulator-based sessions.
“Our thoughts remain with those affected by the tragic accidents of the Boeing 737 MAX. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we would not have allowed a return to service for UK operators or lifted the ban on the aircraft operating in UK airspace unless we were satisfied that the aircraft type is airworthy and can be operated safely,” stated the Chief Executive of the CAA Richard Moriarty.
Prior to releasing the aircraft back into service, operators will have to conduct tests on all the newly installed systems and operate an operational readiness flight, to make sure any mechanical issues would be fixed prior to the type’s return to service.
The UK CAA followed the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)’s lead, as the latter ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX on January 27, 2021.
Due to Brexit, which happened on January 1, 2021, the CAA separated from EASA and has conducted its own independent review of the aircraft.
The only airline to have a UK-registered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is TUI Airways, which has six jets of the type parked at Manchester Airport (MUN), according to planespotters.net data. In addition, the Ireland-based low-cost carrier Ryanair previously indicated that it would launch its 737 MAX flights from the UK.