Brazil’s ANAC clears Boeing 737 MAX to fly

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The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) of Brazil approved the Boeing 737 MAX to fly in Brazil after the authority grounded the aircraft in March 2019.

The ANAC followed the lead of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Brazilian authority adopted the same Airworthiness Directive (AD) that the FAA released on November 18, 2020, announcing the effective un-grounding of the jet.

While the authority’s approval is a very important step, just like in the US, Brazilian operators will have to go through several steps of changes before passengers can board the aircraft for a commercial flight. 

Much like the FAA, the ANAC will require airlines that want to operate the 737 MAX in the country to install the newest software update, physically separate wires that go from the cockpit towards the horizontal stabilizer trim motor, update the Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) and test the Angle of Attack (AoA) sensor systems to make sure they work as outlined in the software update.

In addition, Boeing 737 MAX pilots will have to go through updated training procedures, including training in a full-flight simulator (FFS).

“This thorough evaluation of the flight control system is an unprecedented milestone in the history of aviation,” commented ANAC’s superintendent of airworthiness Roberto Honorato. “The revised modifications and procedures provided offer total confidence for the resumption of operations of the Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil.” 

Authorities across the globe have begun to un-ground the Boeing 737 MAX at their own pace. While the ANAC was the second one to do so, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) proposed Airworthiness Directive (PAD), for example, outlined differences between the European regulator and the FAA. Differences include the ability to disable the stick shaker in case of an erroneous activation. Stick shaker circuit breakers will now have colored buttons and finally, a temporary ban on conducting Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP-AR) approaches.

The only airline to operate the Boeing 737 MAX in Brazil is GOL Linhas Aereas (GOL). Boeing delivered seven aircraft of the type to the low-cost carrier prior to the grounding in March 2019. According to the manufacturer’s order book, no other airline in Brazil has the 737 MAX on order.


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