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Boeing No Longer Expects 737 MAX Return To Air By 2019

Boeing No Longer Expects 737 MAX Return To Air By 2019
Following a meeting between the Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg and senior US officials from the United States aviation regulator - the Federal Aviation Administration, the US plane maker said that it was withdrawing its aim of getting approvals from the regulator for the returning in air of its grounded 737 Max jet planes. 
This Boeing announcement was preceded by a congressional hearing on Wednesday wherein the FAA was asked questions by numerous law makers about its role in the 737 Max accidents and urged the FAA to take a tougher stance with Boeing with respect to review the safety and security of the 737 Max planes which have been grounded globally since March this year following two fatal crashes involving the same model.
The FAA will not give a clearance for the plane to fly before 2020, said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson on Wednesday, and announced that the regulator is currently conducting an investigation in the production process of the 737 jets in Renton, Washington. Before the MAX returns to service, there are nearly a dozen milestones that must be completed, he added.
Boeing said that it had "committed to addressing all of the FAA's questions" at a meeting between Muilenburg and Boeing's commercial airplanes chief Stan Deal with Dickson. The company also added that it will take all measures possible to support the FAA's "requirements and their timeline as we work to safely return the Max to service in 2020."
This news resulted in a drop of 1.5 per cent in the shares of Boeing. The company had said earlier that it could be forced to cut or even halt production of the 737 MAX aircraft if there is a significant delay in the approval for flight for the planes. The company had also simultaneously warned that such a step would cause widespread impact throughout its global supply chain as well as be a cause of problems for dozens of airline customers.
Last month, Boeing had said confidently that it was hopeful that the US aviation regulator would give it the green signal to start delivery of the planes in December of this year. n
In an email earlier to congressional staff on Thursday disclosing the meeting and seen by Reuters, FAA official Philip Newman said Dickson is "concerned that Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic due to delays that have accumulated for a variety of reasons. More concerning, the administrator wants to directly address the perception that some of Boeing's public statements have been designed to force FAA into taking quicker action," said FAA official Philip Newman in an email earlier to congressional staff on Thursday disclosing the meeting according to reports.
Two accidents involving 737 Max planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people within a span of just 5 months between them resulted in the global grounding of the planes.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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