February 23, 2020

What Needs to Happen to Get Boeing’s 737 Max Flying Again?

After those tests, the F.A.A. will produce a report recommending training, which will be open to public comments for 15 days. After the public comment period, the agency will release its final training requirements.

Once the certification flights are done, the paperwork is complete and the training is set, the F.A.A. will issue an airworthiness directive instructing airlines how to install new software and fix other issues on the Max so that it can fly again. It will then release a separate document formally ending the grounding.

Boeing will also send a bulletin, containing much of the same information, to the airlines that operate the 737 Max. With those steps complete, pilots could begin training.

The F.A.A. is not the only aviation regulator that needs to clear the Max. Officials in Europe, Canada, Brazil and other countries will have to make their own decisions. And while there is a good chance that some international regulators may give the Max the all-clear at the same time as the F.A.A., some could take longer.

When airlines are finally prepared to fly the Max, they will have to get their planes ready. That process — which involves checking all the plane’s systems, as well as its fluids, engines, tires and more — takes a week to 10 days per plane. Airlines are also likely to give the interiors a deep cleaning, and they will have to install the updated software, which should take only a few hours.

Boeing will go through a similar process for the roughly 400 jets built during the grounding that are now in storage. The backlog of completed jets contributed to Boeing’s decision to temporarily shut the 737 factory last month. It will take well over a year to deliver all the already built planes to customers, and Boeing wanted to stop the backlog from growing.

Moving the first planes out of storage and into the hands of customers will be a major milestone for Boeing, and it will signal that the return of the Max is imminent.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/business/boeing-737-max-fly-again.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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