IATA rallies global aviation regulators behind B737 Max airplanes
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), yesterday urged aviation safety regulators worldwide to continue to align on technical validation requirements and timelines for the safe re-entry into service of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
The announcement came at the conclusion of the second Boeing 737 Max summit organised by IATA.
The commercial plane manufacturer, Boeing, recently hinted of a possible return of the embattled plane model to flight services before the year ends.
Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dennis Muilenburg, had said they planned to fly the 737 Max aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration “very soon” to get the grounded planes cleared to return to airline service.
Rising from the Boeing 737 Max summit, IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, said the Boeing 737 MAX tragedies weigh heavily on an industry that holds safety as its top priority.
“We trust the Federal Aviation Administration, in its role as the certifying regulator, to ensure the aircraft’s safe return to service. And we respect the duty of regulators around the world to make independent decisions on FAA’s recommendations.
“At the same time, aviation is a globally integrated system that relies on global standards, including mutual recognition, trust, and reciprocity among safety regulators. This harmonised structure has worked successfully for decades to help make air travel the safest form of long distance travel the world has known. Aviation cannot function efficiently without this coordinated effort, and restoring public confidence demands it,” de Juniac said.
Aviation officials worldwide grounded the planes in mid-March, in the wake of two deadly crashes of the aircraft within five months of one another. The two crashes killed a total of 346 people. Muilenburg said he expects that the planes will get a green light to fly again by the end of the year, but declined to provide a timeline.
Boeing has completed a software update for an anti-stall system that has been implicated in the two crashes. Airlines that have purchased the 737 Max, including American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have canceled thousands of flights due to the grounding and have scrambled to meet demand during the peak summer travel season.
IATA reiterated the need for alignment on additional training requirements for Boeing 737 MAX flight crew.
Representatives from more than 40 airlines, safety regulatory authorities, original equipment manufacturers, training organisations, aviation-related associations and aircraft lessors attended the second Boeing 737 Max summit in Montreal.
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