Boeing 737 Max cleared to fly again in Europe from next week

The Boeing 737 Max will be allowed to resume flights in Europe next week, the head of the European aviation safety agency has said.

The green light for flights follows nearly two years of reviews after the aircraft was involved in two deadly crashes that saw the planes grounded worldwide.

Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), told reporters that planes will be permitted to fly as long as they meet conditions specified by the agency and that pilots are up to date on their training.

“It will be cleared to fly again from next week,” he said at an online event hosted by Germany’s Aviation Press Club.

A Boeing 737 Max
A Boeing 737 Max

The planes were grounded in March 2019 following the crashes of a Lion Air flight near Jakarta on October 29, 2018, and an Ethiopian Airlines flight on March 10, 2019, killing a total of 346 people.

Investigators determined that the cause of the crashes was a faulty computer system that pushed the plane’s nose downwards in flight and could not be overridden by pilots.

Changes mandated by EASA include a recertification of the plane’s flight control system, called the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, which was not a part of previous 737 models.

The 737 Max returned to the skies in the United States last month, after the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes that Boeing made to the automated flight control system.

It has also been allowed by Brazil to resume flights, and Transport Canada said earlier this week that it had been cleared to start flying again on Wednesday.