Australia lifts suspension on Boeing 737 MAX


Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Friday said it had lifted the temporary suspension placed on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operating to and from the country.

It said that the suspension order was issued following two deadly accidents involving the model.

A total of 346 people perished in two accidents involving Boeing 737 Max jets, one in Indonesia in October 2018 and another in Ethiopia in March 2019.

The planes were grounded worldwide and only certified to fly again last November.

In both crashes, a sensor provided incorrect data to the software, prompting the nose to dive. Pilots were unable to override the automatic settings.

The new version of the software is to be fed into the data from two sensors.

The 737 MAX has already received approval in Boeing’s home country, the United States, by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and in the European Union by the EASA, among others.

“We have accepted the comprehensive return-to-service requirements specified by the FAA as State of Design for the 737 MAX and are confident that the aircraft are safe,” CASA’s acting head and director of aviation safety, Graeme Crawford, said in a statement.

“Our airworthiness and engineering team has assessed them and concluded that there are no additional return-to-service requirements for operation in Australia.”

No Australian airlines currently operate the Boeing 737 MAX. In pre-coronavirus pandemic, only Singapore-based SilkAir, now Singapore Airlines, and Fiji Airways did.

“With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt international air travel, there is currently no indication when Singapore airlines and Fiji Airways will resume their operations to Australia,” Crawford said.