The United Arab Emirates (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has essentially ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX, allowing the aircraft type to once again fly within the UAE airspace.
The decision to lift the ban for the Boeing 737 MAX came “as a result of the intensive efforts made by the technical committee in charge of the authority,” commented Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA. The authority evaluated the technical data received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and determined that safe conditions were met, reported the state news agency WAM.
Much like everywhere across the globe, 737 MAX operators will have to update the software onboard the aircraft, including an update to the infamous Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). In addition, pilots would need to be re-trained on the adjusted flight training module, which includes flying in a Boeing 737 MAX simulator. Before an aircraft can return to service, it would need to complete an operational readiness flight and receive a flight permit from the GCAA.
The same requirements will apply to foreign operators wishing to operate the aircraft type within the UAE air space.
The Assistant Director General of the GCAA Ismaeil Mohammed Al Blooshi indicated that the authority will closely overlook the restart of commercial operations with the 737 MAX, monitoring how operators apply the corrective measures to ensure the safety of the aircraft.
flydubai is the only airline in the country that flies the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Prior to the groundings following the second fatal crash in Ethiopia in March 2019, Boeing had delivered 11 Boeing 737 MAX-8 and three 737 MAX-9 aircraft to the Dubai-based airline. In total, flydubai has 251 aircraft of the type on order, per latest Boeing Orders & Deliveries data, as of January 31, 2021.