Boeing Co's 737 MAX plane will begin flight tests with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Vancouver, Canada, in the week beginning on Sept. 7, read a press release from the agency.
Boeing 737 MAX starts European air safety regulatory tests Sept. 7
Test flights for the 737 MAX will come more than two months after Boeing and the U.S. regulating body — the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — completed test flight certification, in a move toward returning the aircraft to service, reports Reuters.
Grounded since March 2019, the 737 MAX jets were involved in two fatal crashes over five months — killing 346 people.
"While Boeing still has some final actions to close off, EASA judges the overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests," said the agency.
International regulators to carry out simulator exercises
EASA has collaborated with Boeing and the FAA to schedule the flight tests, but it was interrupted when the coronavirus crisis hit the travel industry, forcing restrictions on flight between the United States and Europe.
Pilots from Boeing and the transportation watchdog Transport Canada began test flights of the 737 MAX jetliner Wednesday, according to an industry source and Flight Aware data, reports Reuters.
The Joint Operational Evaluation Board — including regulators from Europe, Brazil, and Canada — will carry out simulator exercises with aims to analyze proposed alterations to pilot training, once the countries have finished flight tests of the 737 MAX.
Boeing 737 MAX US return might slip into 2021
If safety upgrade reviews for the 737 MAX along with training protocols move pass inspection without concerns, the FAA will rescind the standing order that's has grounded the plane since the 2019 incidents.
In late July, Boeing said 737 MAX deliveries would resume this fourth quarter — a timeline that edges close enough to merit speculation that the aircraft might not return to service in the U.S. until 2021.