Boeing 737 Max aircraft fleet are grounded worldwide
In the aftermath of two fatal accidents, Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, the Boeing 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019. Boeing implemented several changes to its flight control system and pilot training and was expecting to have the planes in the air mid 2020.
The crashes to what was suppose to be Boeing’s signature line, saw cancellation of the 737 by many countries and airliners. There are approximately 400 737 Max planes awaiting delivery and the full fleet of operational flights have been grounded worldwide pending recertification.
Transport Canada will not lift the flight restrictions on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 until the department is fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been addressed by the manufacturer and the FAA, and that enhanced flight crew procedures and training are in place.”
There has been a series of flight test activities of the updated aircraft as part of the validation process. From August 23 to 25, 2020, Transport Canada’s flight test crew were flown to Seattle, Washington, to conduct evaluations on the engineering simulator at the Boeing facility and then at the end of the each test day, were flown back to Vancouver.
The flight test evaluations took place on August 26 and 27 in U.S. airspace using the Boeing test aircraft.
Mitigation measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic were established for the validation activities, including the flight tests, to ensure the health and safety of Transport Canada employees.
Canada is the first international regulator to complete validation testing activities of the aircraft. Transport Canada is now analyzing the results of these tests. Transport Canada will determine, through its own independent review, whether to validate the proposed changes.
This fall, once our analysis is completed, Transport Canada will participate in a Joint Operational Evaluation Board, which is made up of representatives from global certification authorities. The results of the Board will be used to establish the minimum training requirements for the return to service of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft.