The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is due to commence a review of Boeing 737 Max crew training at Gatwick airport on Monday.
A review of the proposed crew training will last almost two weeks, marking the latest in a series of steps towards returning the 737 Max to the air.
The aircraft has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two fatal crashes in five months killed 346 passengers and crew.
The FAA said its Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) will “review Boeing’s proposed training for 737 Max flight crews” alongside the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the civil aviation authorities of Canada and Brazil.
EASA completed a series of flight tests of the Max in Vancouver this week, two months after the FAA carried out flight testing with Boeing. The Canadian regulator has also conducted test flights.
In a statement, EASA said: “EASA has been evaluating the redesign of the 737 Max. The test flights are an important part of that process.
“The fact that these have now taken place indicates EASA judges the overall maturity of the redesign process sufficient to move to this stage. But there is still work to do.”
It added: “The JOEB meeting [at Gatwick] will assess the training requirements for the return to service. Further documentation and internal consultation is required before the final drafting of approval documents.”
EASA noted: “It is the FAA’s role to issue the approval first. FAA approval is a precondition for EASA approval.
“[But] EASA’s approval is required before Max operators based in Europe can return their 737 Max aircraft to service.”
Boeing chose not to comment on the latest review. However, Boeing has previously said it expects the necessary regulatory approvals “in time to support resumption of deliveries during the fourth quarter”.
There remain a series of steps to complete before the FAA can rescind the grounding order and aircraft re-enter service.
These include a review of Boeing’s design documentation, a technical advisory board review and report, an FAA ‘determination of compliance’ review, a notice of pending safety actions and a final directive on the issues for the grounding and advice to airlines.
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