China, the first country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX after the fatal crash of Ethiopian Flight 102 last month, is set to join the FAA’s review panel. Former NTSB chairman Christopher Hart is running the program, which is expected to run for about three months. The FAA agreed to create an international review board last week as the aviation authorities in several countries indicated skepticism at the certification process that approved the 737 MCAS stability system in the first place.
China joins the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and regulators from Canada, UAE, Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Ethiopia and Indonesia on the review panel. Of the 371 737 MAX aircraft in circulation, Chinese airlines operate 97 of them. Southwest Airlines has the largest U.S. fleet, at 34 aircraft.