Beijing | China, the first country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX to the ground after a series of accidents, said Friday it had “no timetable” to allow them to fly again, despite a green light in the United States .
The United States Aviation Agency (FAA) on Wednesday cleared the plane to fly again, after 20 months of grounding following two crashes that killed 346 people in the space of five months.
However, several modifications will have to be made on the Boeing 737 MAXs before they can be returned to service. The pilots will also have to undergo new training before taking back the controls of these devices in the American sky.
The Chinese air transport regulator (CAAC) ordered in March 2019 the country’s companies to suspend the flights of their Boeing 737 MAX 8, the day after a crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane. The Asian giant was the first country in the world to make such a decision.
Their use in China can only resume once “the conclusions of the investigations into the two accidents [impliquant des Boeing 737 MAX] established ”, decided the Chinese regulator, quoted by the public television CCTV.
The CAAC also sets as prerequisites a “complete and effective” training of pilots, as well as technical modifications on the devices to guarantee flight safety.
As it stands, there is “no fixed schedule” for the return of the Boeing 737 MAX to Chinese skies, says the regulator.
China makes security a priority due to the size of its huge market.
Against the backdrop of an explosion in air traffic, fed by a booming middle class, the Asian country should thus become by the mid-2020s the leading aeronautics market ahead of the United States.
In October, the director of the CAAC, Feng Zhenglin, had justified the immobilization of the Boeing 737 MAX by a “zero tolerance” vis-à-vis the potential risks to safety.