China moves a step closer to allowing 737 MAX flights with new directive

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China’s aviation authority has issued an airworthiness directive on the Boeing 737 MAX, another step to the aircraft returning to the skies in the country.  

The directive, issued on December 2, 2021, by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), tells airlines what revisions they need to make before they can resume operations with the MAX.  

However, the directive does not give a date for when airlines can resume flights with the MAX in China’s skies. 

China was the first country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in 2019 after two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia claimed 346 lives. It is the last major country not to have recertified the MAX to fly again.  

China is a major market for Boeing, so approval would be a big boost for the US manufacturer.   

The CAAC had indicated in November that it was happy with design changes proposed by Boeing to software and display situations and was planning an airworthiness directive with information on procedures for pilots to follow in the event of similar problems to those that caused the crashes.  

On December 2, 2021, Reuters cited a statement from the regulator as saying: “After conducting sufficient assessment, CAAC considers the corrective actions are adequate to address this unsafe condition.” 

The CAAC had asked airlines for feedback by November 26, 2021 on the proposed airworthiness directive.  

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