Following two tragic accidents (Lion Air Flight 610 on
October 29, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019), The
Boeing 737 MAX aircraft was grounded throughout the world in March 2019. The UK
was one of the first countries to act, preventing the aircraft from using its
airspace. That ban remains in place.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible
for type certifying (approving) the Boeing 737 MAX, and it is the European
Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that validates this certification across
the EU, including currently for the UK. We are monitoring the latest
developments and the ongoing work involving Boeing, the FAA and EASA around
safely returning the aircraft to service.
More detail on the international arrangements for aircraft
certification is published on our website.
When considering a controlled return to service for the
Boeing 737 MAX aircraft safety is our number one priority. Currently these
aircraft are prevented from operating in the UK’s airspace, therefore any
request for them to fly will need our special permission. Working with other
international regulators, we will consider applications for ferry flights without
passengers on a case by case basis. For any ferry flights to take place we
would need to be assured of the safety of each flight, including the
maintenance status of the aircraft and the crew’s experience.
Any UK ferry flights will follow the procedures approved by
both the FAA and EASA in the same way that MAX ferry flights have been
conducted around the world since the grounding, including within Europe.
We approved one ferry flight for a TUI
aircraft to return to the UK in September 2020.
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