The Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that airlines in the United States would still be permitted to fly the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, despite two deadly crashes over the last six months.
Several airlines in countries such as China, Indonesia, Ethiopia and others have grounded the 737 MAX 8 aircraft in their fleets after 157 people were killed when an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in Ethiopia Sunday morning.
According to NBCNews.com, FAA officials deemed the 737 Max 8 and Max 9 as airworthy but said it would continue investigating the data from the Ethiopian crash to determine if further action is necessary.
While news agencies immediately drew comparisons between Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines disaster and the Lion Air 737 MAX crash in October, the FAA said it’s too early to “draw any conclusions or take any actions.”
In addition, the FAA announced it would require enhancements to the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) on the 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes by April 2019. Boeing is also working on new training requirements and manuals.
UPDATED #FAA Statement on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. pic.twitter.com/QJ0m5eaHHJ
According to Reuters.com, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein called on the FAA Monday to ground Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 fleet after the two crashes.
“Until the cause of the crash is known and it’s clear that similar risks aren’t present in the domestic fleet, I believe all Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft operating in the United States should be temporarily grounded,” Feinstein said.
“Continuing to fly an airplane that has been involved in two fatal crashes within just six months presents an unnecessary, potentially life-threatening risk to the traveling public,” Feinstein continued.
On Tuesday, England announced it would not allow the planes to fly in or out of the country, citing concerns from customers about potential problems. Norwegian Air also temporarily suspended flights with the 737 MAX 8, following recommendations by European aviation authorities.
“We have, as a precautionary measure, issued instructions to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace,” United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in a statement.
In addition, Australia, Malaysia, Oman and Singapore have all suspended flights into or out of their countries with the impacted Boeing planes.
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