Transport Canada validated the design changes of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

On December 17, 2020, the Canadian air safety regulator announced completing its independent review of the design changes on the Boeing 737 MAX. In addition, the authority also validated the changes recently certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

The approval of the changed 737 MAX design is the first step to return the jet to the country’s airspace. Transport Canada also turned a green light for design modifications of Canada-registered Boeing 737 MAX planes. 

However, the regulator is yet to finalize the Airworthiness Directive (AD) in which it is expected to outline the key actions for Canadian air operators to implement before the aircraft can be used for passenger service. 

“This will include changes to the aircraft software associated with the Flight Control Computer that manages the Speed Trim System (STS) including the Maneuvering Augmentation Characteristics System (MCAS) that were identified as a contributing factor in both accidents; wire routing changes identified during the review of the aircraft following the grounding; and revisions to the Aircraft Flight Manual which include instructions and information necessary for the flight crew’s safe operation of the aircraft,“ is outlined in the Canadian regulator’s statement.

After completing changes in the software, Transport Canada plans to issue an Interim Order for the required flight crew training to implement the enhanced procedures and training on the 737 MAX jet. The authority expects to prepare the AD and the pilot training requirements as soon as January 2021. 

However, the regulator outlined that the paperwork would not be enough to clear the Boeing 737 MAX for the first takeoff after a long time. The Canadian air carrier will also have to run maintenance checks to ensure the safety of the jet after having been stored for some time.

The regulator noted that the Canadian design changes for the 737 MAX will include additional flight crew procedure regarding pulling circuit breakers to silence the stick shaker warning, a loud vibration of the control column which warns the flight crew about the possible stall. “This feature will effectively reduce pilot workload given what has been learned from the two tragic accidents, and has been fully evaluated by Transport Canada’s flight test pilots,“ read in Transport Canada‘s release.

In comparison to the Canadian authority, the FAA ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX back on November 18, 2020. The airliner was allowed to return to passenger services following 20 months of hibernation after the second fatal accident involving the aircraft type in Ethiopia in March 2019. The Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has already followed the FAA’s example and reauthorized the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX in Brazil on November 25, 2020.

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Air Canada prepares for Boeing 737 MAX returning to Canadian skies.