FAA Clears 737 MAX for Service

Today, the FAA issued Safety Alert for Operators 20015 (SAFO 20015) regarding the return to service of Boeing 737-8 and 737-9 airplanes (referred to collectively as the 737 MAX).

Boeing has made changes to the 737 MAX:

  • Aircraft design,
  • Aircraft Maintenance Manuals (AMM),
  • Fault Isolation Manual (FIM),
  • Component Maintenance Manual (CMM),
  • Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR), and
  • Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL).

The FAA also issued Notice 8900.570 today, to provide guidance concerning this return to service of 737 Max aircraft that received their certificates of airworthiness before November 18th (today) . The FAA is also issuing airworthiness directive 2020-24-02 (as of this time, this AD is not yet available on the FAA’s websites nor on the Federal Register website but it ought to be available quite soon).

Contacts at U.S. air carriers told me this morning that they are actively working to return these aircraft to service, now that they’ve been cleared by the FAA. This aircraft design has probably received more government scrutiny than any design in the history of aviation, so many industry insiders have a great deal of confidence in the current 737 MAX design.

More details also continue to be available on Boeing’s website, which has a dedicated page on the 737 MAX.

UPDATE: Airworthiness directive 2020-24-02 was published two days later, in the November 20 Federal Register.

About Jason Dickstein
Mr. Dickstein is the President of the Washington Aviation Group, a Washington, DC-based aviation law firm. Since 1992, he has represented aviation trade associations and businesses that include aircraft and aircraft parts manufacturers, distributors, and repair stations, as well as both commercial and private operators. Blog content published by Mr. Dickstein is not legal advice; and may not reflect all possible fact patterns. Readers should exercise care when applying information from blog articles to their own fact patterns.

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