IATA: Multiple “Recertification” Efforts Concerning


The head of the International Air Transport Association said he is concerned that the process to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service will be complicated by multiple aviation authorities’ desire to conduct their own analysis on the fixes and not simply accept the FAA’s recommendations before returning the jet to revenue flying.

Reuters has Alexandre de Juniac, the IATA director general, telling reporters in advance of a summit in Chicago this week, “With the 737 MAX we are a bit worried … because we don’t see the normal unanimity among international regulators that should be the case. We see a discrepancy that’s detrimental to the industry.” Depending on how much of the FAA’s data each country’s aviation authority is willing to take on face value, the path back to flying for the MAX could be considerably more convoluted than it has been in the U.S. 

While the IATA and Boeing are likely to be concerned that certification with the FAA may not as valuable as it once was, the agency’s response has been neutral. “Each government will make its own decision to return the aircraft to service based on a thorough safety assessment,” the FAA says in a statement, Reuters is reporting.

While Boeing works with the FAA to prove the software changes to the MCAS are sufficient, the Joint Authorities Technical Review panel has delayed publishing its recommendations, which were due in late August, until at least mid-September 

Meanwhile, American Airlines has canceled flights depending on the MAX through early December, while United has cleared its schedule of MAX flights through mid-December. 

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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  1. Am I the only one that thinks this software problem is smoke and mirrors? The aircraft is fundamentally unairworthy (think B2 bomber.) The software is a work-around. It’s the airplane that needs to be fixed, not the software.

    • It isn’t unstable or unairworthy to that extent (though not as stable as fully-manual airliners of old), the problem is that without the software workaround, it is different to older 737s, which would necessitate more pilot training. When is a 737 no longer a 737?

  2. And we thought that safety came first… Does performance and efficiency come first now?
    Long ago, I flew an 8 place general aviation airplane (only once) that had an unusually large CG range. It was extremely difficult to handle since it had a large flat weight on rollers underneath the floorboards that was moved either automatically or manually forward or aft as cg changed. It was a disaster. I don’t know how this airplane got approved by the FAA. On autopilot, passengers shifting around caused the automatic trim mode to go crazy back and forth. Or, if the autopilot was off and people moved, the pilot had to fight sudden out of trim. So the pilot or the system had to constantly retrim.