Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) remains undecided on resuming Boeing 737 MAX operations as the latest single aisle aircraft completes two years of grounding in the country, following a global ban in March 2019. The aircraft has resumed flying in the United States and United Kingdom among others.
“We continue to work closely with DGCA, other global regulators and our customers to safely return the 737-8 and 737-9 to service worldwide. We continue to make progress on returning 737 MAX to service. In all, more than 160 out of 195 global regulators have opened their airspace for MAX. As of March 9, 14 airlines have safely returned the airplane to service, and have safely flown more than 9,000 revenue flights for nearly 20,000 flight hours,” Boeing spokesperson said.
Boeing 737 MAX was involved in an Ethiopian Airlines flight crash on March 10, 2019 wherein more than 180 passengers and crew members died. A flight of Lion Air, an Indonesian low-cost carrier, had also crashed in October 2018, leading to suspicion over design faults in the aircraft model. After these accidents, DGCA had issued a statement in March 2019 saying that no 737 MAX aircraft would be allowed to enter or transit in Indian airspace.
US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), however, approved Boeing 737 MAX to fly in November 2020. The airworthiness directive (AD) issued by FAA mentioned the requirements that must be met by airlines operating Boeing 737 MAX planes. These included installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training, and ensuring that the airplanes are ready for service.
After the FAA’s allowance, Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency followed the suit. Europe’s civil aviation agency European Aviation Safety Agency, UK’s Civil Aviation Authority and Canada’s Transport Canada Civil Aviation also followed suit.