The European Union Safety Agency (EASA) will start its flight tests of the Boeing 737 MAX in early-September 2020 in order for the aircraft “to return to service as soon as possible.”
EASA, together with Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration, has been in active negotiations, according to the European regulator. The parties reached an agreement that the flight tests of the Boeing 737 MAX will start in the week commencing September 7 in Vancouver, Canada.
The flight tests will follow a week of simulator-based test flights that will start on September 1 at London Gatwick Airport (LGW). The Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB), comprised of Boeing 737 MAX pilots, will begin their test procedures on September 14, 2020.
“EASA has been working steadily, in close cooperation with the FAA and Boeing, to return the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to service as soon as possible, but only once it is convinced it is safe,” the agency’s statement reads.
According to the European safety regulator, the manufacturer still has some changes to make to its design before the aircraft can be certified, but the “overall maturity of the re-design process is now sufficient to proceed to flight tests,” as noted in the statement.
On August 27, 2020, Transport Canada began its flight test campaign by completing its first Boeing 737 MAX test flight. The Canadian authority became the first foreign authority to do so, joining the US’ FAA, which began its work to test flight the grounded aircraft in June 2020.