UAE aviation authority backs efforts to end Boeing 737 Max grounding

The International Air Transport Association last week called on global aviation regulators and the FAA to co-ordinate

FILE PHOTO: A photo of Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019.  REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

The UAE aviation authority is backing plans by the US and global regulators to co-ordinate efforts to return the grounded Boeing 737 Max jet to the skies.

The International Air Transport Association last week called on global aviation regulators and the FAA to align their efforts on technical validation requirements, crew training and timelines to return the Max to commercial operations.

The General Civil Aviation Authority is working with the US and is in contact with European regulators on improvements to the aircraft for its safe return to service, the UAE authority said.

"We support aligning of efforts of global regulators for working on the Boeing 737 Max issue," said Ismaeil Al Blooshi, assistant director general for aviation safety affairs.

"We are closely working with the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and are in contact with European Aviation Safety Agency [Easa] on the improvements in the aircraft to ensure an acceptable level of safety prior to unbanning of the model in the UAE."

Iata recognised the role of the FAA as a Max certifying regulator and acknowledged the need for others to make independent decisions while urging unity.

The FAA is co-ordinating the return of the 737 Max with Canada, Brazil and Europe, the GCAA confirmed. The UAE authority said it could not provide a timeline for the plane to resume operators as the aircraft review is ongoing.

The FAA last week discovered a new safety risk in the troubled jet and ordered the plane maker to make additional design changes, further delaying the grounded plane's return to service.

The world's biggest plane manufacturer is working on a software fix for the latest flaw while also completing a redesign of the system linked to the two deadly crashes that led to the grounding.

The crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights operating the 737 Max took place within a space of five months, killing 346 people.

The accidents also triggered multiple investigations and reviews of how Boeing added a safety system known as Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System to the 737 Max family.