Transport Canada is set to allow the commercial return of the Boeing 737 MAX this week. The agency published an Airworthiness Directive today outlining the changes required to reestablish airworthiness, saying that it has “spent well over 15,000 review hours on the Boeing 737 MAX. This review has seen Canada take a significant leadership role in the overall project helping shape many decisions taken by the state of design authorities, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It has also resulted in Transport Canada issuing its own unique Airworthiness Directive as opposed to the adoption of the FAA Airworthiness Directive.”
In addition to the revised training required of U.S. crews, most of the Transport Canada requirements mirror those of the FAA, including:
- Installation of a new version of software for the Flight Control Computer to address the issues related to the Maneuvering Augmentation Characteristics System (MCAS);
- A revision to the MAX Display System (MDS) software to ensure that the AOA DISAGREE alert is available on aeroplanes as a standard configuration;
- The addition of colored caps on circuit breakers for the stick shaker, to allow for ease of identification during the use of an optional procedure included in the Canadian Aircraft Flight Manual Supplement permitting the disabling of a nuisance stick shaker; and
- Wire routing changes for the horizontal stabilizer trim system to be modified in order to improve physical separation of the wiring.
“Over the last 20 months, Transport Canada’s civil aviation safety experts, by their rigour and thoroughness, have ensured the safety concerns the department had identified have been addressed,” said Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport. “Canadians and the airline industry can rest assured that Transport Canada has diligently addressed all safety issues prior to permitting this aircraft to return to service in Canadian airspace.”
Transport Canada’s primary break from FAA rules includes the recommendation for crews to disable the stick shaker in the event of a nuisance alarm. Meanwhile, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is expected to clear the 737 MAX by the end of January with an approach similar to Transport Canada’s.