Europe lifts safety ban on Boeing 737 MAX jet
European regulators on Wednesday lifted a 22-month ban on flights of the Boeing 737 MAX after a design and pilot training overhaul in the wake of crashes that killed 346 people, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) confirmed a provisional approval given in November, but dropped calls for an extra flight-angle sensor to back up a system implicated in crashes.
“Let me be quite clear that this journey does not end here,” Executive Director Patrick Ky said in a statement.
“We have every confidence that the aircraft is safe, which is the precondition for giving our approval. But we will continue to monitor 737 MAX operations closely as the aircraft resumes service.”
Regulators worldwide grounded the MAX in March 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The United States lifted its ban last November, followed by Brazil and Canada. Britain, which is no longer in EASA after leaving the EU, followed the agency’s lead on Wednesday.
Relatives of some victims have criticised the move to clear the 737 MAX, the latest version of the world’s most-flown jet.
Crash investigations show bad data from a single faulty sensor triggered a barely documented software system that ordered repeated dives and overwhelmed both accident crews.
Boeing has said data from both “Angle of Attack” sensors on the MAX will be tracked in the modified aircraft, instead of just one as in the past. But EASA has suggested a third sensor system to act as a jury in case one of the main sensors fails.
The proposal, opposed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, triggered a regulatory tussle over whether existing modifications would allow pilots to cope with any sensor outage, or whether a further safety net was needed.
Ky said in September that Boeing had agreed to install the digital equivalent of a third sensor on the next version, the 737 MAX 10, followed by retrofits on other models.