Transport Minister approves 737 MAX’s return, set for Jan. 20

Transport Minister approves 737 MAX’s return, set for Jan. 20

OTTAWA — Transport Canada says it will lift the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which prohibits the commercial operation of the Boeing 737 MAX in Canadian airspace, on Jan. 20, 2021.

This will allow for the return to service of the aircraft in Canada, says Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

Transport Canada sent out a statement today, noting that it has issued an Airworthiness Directive for the Boeing 737 MAX which outlines the required modifications to be made to the aircraft prior to a return to service in Canadian airspace. This concludes the department’s review of the aircraft.

As part of Transport Canada’s independent review process, the department’s civil aviation certification and flight safety experts were instrumental in guiding the aircraft design changes. The department has gone even farther by introducing unique Canadian measures to further enhance the safety of the aircraft.

In addition to all reviews, and to provide additional assurances that all measures are in place, an Interim Order that clearly indicates Transport Canada’s expectations and requirements for additional training for crew members was also issued for operators. It is complementary to the design and maintenance requirements of the Airworthiness Directive.

Transport Canada has spent 15,000+ review hours on the Boeing 737 MAX, and Transport Canada issued its own unique Airworthiness Directive as opposed to the adoption of the FAA Airworthiness Directive.

“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 Alghabra. “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.”

Earlier this month WestJet announced that it intends to phase the aircraft back into passenger service starting Jan. 21.

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