By Patrick Appleton
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged state aviation safety regulators to work together on getting the Boeing 737 MAX back into service amid reports that further safety defects have been detected.
Boeing’s top-selling aircraft was grounded in March after two fatal crashes and the company has since begun upgrading the model’s flight control system, which has been a key focus for crash investigators.
A further complication has emerged. In a statement emailed to Reuters, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said it had “found a potential risk that Boeing must mitigate.” This will further delay the aircraft’s return to service.
Aviation is a globally integrated system that relies on global standards, including mutual recognition, trust, and reciprocity among safety regulators
The Boeing 737 MAX Operators Summit hosted by IATA in Montreal gathered together more than 40 airlines, safety regulatory authorities, original equipment manufacturers, training organizations, aviation-related associations and aircraft lessors to discuss how to navigate the Boeing 737 MAX situation.
Noting the importance to the industry of returning the aircraft safely into service, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that “The Boeing 737 MAX tragedies weigh heavily on an industry that holds safety as its top priority.”
“We trust the FAA, in its role as the certifying regulator, to ensure the aircraft’s safe return to service. And we respect the duty of regulators around the world to make independent decisions on FAA’s recommendations.
“At the same time, aviation is a globally integrated system that relies on global standards, including mutual recognition, trust, and reciprocity among safety regulators.
“This harmonized structure has worked successfully for decades to help make air travel the safest form of long distance travel the world has known.
“Aviation cannot function efficiently without this coordinated effort, and restoring public confidence demands it.”
IATA also reiterated the need for alignment on additional training requirements for Boeing 737 MAX flight crew.