(RTTNews) – The Federal Aviation Administration issued first airworthiness certificate for one of the new Boeing 737 Max jets on Monday since the aircraft was grounded worldwide in March 2019 following two crashes that killed 364 people, media reports quoting a FAA spokesman said.
The move comes after the agency lifted its ban in mid-November on the 737 Max aircraft.
Unlike type certificates, which are issued to entire aircraft models, airworthiness certificates are the documents that clear specific aircraft to fly.
The FAA usually issues airworthiness certificates to new aircraft prior to delivery to customers.
Therefore, each of the about 450 Max in Boeing’s inventory reportedly needs the certificates prior to delivery.
The FAA reportedly said it expects to have sufficient number of inspectors on hand to meet Boeing’s planned delivery schedule for the foreseeable future. Previously-delivered 737 Max – there are about 390 in airlines’ fleets – received their airworthiness certificates prior to the grounding. Those jets do not need new certificates but must also comply with new airworthiness requirements prior to being flown.
As part of its intense regulatory scrutiny, the FAA revoked Boeing’s ability to grant airworthiness certificates for individual aircraft.
Prior to the grounding, Boeing itself had issued airworthiness certificates for its new aircraft.
After lifting the Max’s grounding in mid-November, the FAA published an airworthiness directive specifying design changes that must be made before the aircraft returns to service. The FAA also issued a continued airworthiness notification to the International Community and published the MAX training requirements.
The FAA must approve 737 MAX pilot training program revisions for each U.S. airline operating the MAX.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.