Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

UAE is committed to Boeing 737 Max's safe return to its airspace, GCAA says

The regulator has formed a special team to monitor implementation of corrective measures on the embattled jet

A Boeing 737 Max lands after a test flight at the Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. Reuters
A Boeing 737 Max lands after a test flight at the Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. Reuters

The UAE is committed to ensuring a safe return of Boeing 737 Max to its airspace and is monitoring the certification activities of the aircraft, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said in a statement on Thursday.

The regulator said it is working with the US Federal Aviation Administration as well as with Boeing and the local operators to resolve issues related to the aircraft.

However, the aircraft's return to service will depend on the speed at which the corrective measures are applied following the recent test flight by Boeing, the GCAA said.

Some of the measures that were recommended include a software update of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, an update of pilot training procedure and to carry out operational readiness flights for each aircraft.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director-general of GCAA, said that “a dedicated specialist team has been formed by the GCAA to monitor the current certification activities and implementation of the corrective measures”.

“The specialist team is also working with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to benefit from their approach in safely returning the aircraft to service which is expected to happen in last quarter of this year.”

The UAE's carrier Flydubai is the second-biggest customer of the 737 Max jet that was grounded globally after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia within a span of five months.

An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed outside the capital Addis Ababa killing all 157 people onboard in March, 2019. Before that, a Max jet owned by Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea after taking off from Jakarta, killing 189 people.

Last month, the US aviation regulator has proposed an extensive list of fixes for Boeing’s 737 Max to address safety issues. These include installing updated flight control software, revising display-processing software to generate alerts, revising certain flight crew operating procedures and changing the routing of some electrical wiring.

Updated: September 10, 2020 02:23 PM

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