Not only did Boeing complete the development of the updated software for the 737 MAX, but they also flew more than 360 hours on 207 flights with the updated MCAS software.
It sounds like that’s good progress on Boeing’s part, though it doesn’t answer the question of when the plane will be back in service. The plane now has to be certified to re-enter service, and a lot of us have been wondering how long that will take.
Given the public’s lack of trust for both Boeing and the FAA at the moment, one would hope they’ll be especially thorough, rather than trying to rush this (despite the financial implications of these planes being grounded).
That’s why it’s interesting to note what the FAA is expecting. Reuters reports that the US FAA has informed the United Nations’ aviation agency that they expect the 737 MAX could return to service as early as late June.
It sounds like it will be at least a month before the 737 MAX is certified properly, and that’s best case scenario. Keep in mind that just because the FAA certifies the plane, doesn’t necessarily mean that all other international authorities will certify the plane immediately as well. This could be both due to genuine safety concerns, and also for political reasons, given trade wars, given state owned airlines in some cases owning 737 MAXs they may not want anymore, etc.
I had been wondering if the 737 MAX might be back in service in the next couple of weeks, though it sounds like that’s definitely not the case. It’s possible the plane may be back in service at some point during the busy summer travel period, though.
Even once the plane is back in service, Boeing and airlines will have the job of convincing the public that the plane is safe to fly. Both the CEOs of American and United have chimed in with their take, including what they plan to do to instill confidence in the public with this plane.