The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Boeing with a list of recommendations and fixes for its grounded 737 Max after completing a series of flight tests last month.
In the fairly substantial list of fixes, the FAA recommends changes to the MCAS system, which is partly blamed for the two Max crashes. The FAA also expects computer changes, the addition of a warning light and the rerouting of electric wires.
The FAA’s report suggests that once the changes have been implemented, regulators will be satisfied that the plane is ready for service.
But there is still no telling when the plane will be cleared to fly again, with the FAA saying it would “not speculate” when the work will be completed.
“The agency…will take the time it needs to thoroughly review Boeing’s work,” a statement from the FAA read, adding: “We will lift the grounding order only after FAA safety experts are satisfied that the aircraft meets certification standards.”
The FAA has asked for public comment on the changes and other regulators, including the European Aviation Safety Agency are yet to conduct their own flight tests. The public has 45 days to comment on the plans, meaning it will be at least October before the aircraft is given the go-ahead.
But with airlines having to retrain pilots and make the changes to their Max fleets, it its likely to take weeks more before we see the plane operating commercially again.
It is unclear how much the changes will cost global Max operators but Boeing said it might cover some of its customers’ repair costs under warranty, according to the FAA. But the FAA said that in the US, where there are 73 registered Max aircraft, airlines would have to fork out $1 million to make the changes.
While the fixes issued by the FAA are specifically aimed at the Max, the FAA said that Boeing is considering making some changes to the 737 Next Generation aircraft. There are currently some 7,000 737 NGs in operation around the world.