“Flights with FAA test pilots could begin as early as tomorrow, evaluating Boeing’s proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX,” the administration wrote in the letter to lawmakers, which was obtained by CNN. “Testing is expected to take several days, and will include a wide array of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to enable the agency to assess whether the changes meet FAA certification standards.”
“Boeing continues to work diligently to support the safe return of the 737 Max to commercial service. We defer to the FAA and global regulators on the process,” Boeing said in a statement to CNN on Sunday.
The plane cannot return to service until it receives final approval from the FAA.
The FAA’s letter to Congress said the start of test flights does not signify the agency has “completed its compliance evaluation or other work associated with return to service.” The agency outlined in the letter the steps that will remain in the clearance process following the test flights, which include evaluating minimum pilot training requirements among other processes.
–CNN’s Greg Wallace, Rebekah Riess and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.
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