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Cars and Transportation

US demands Boeing make changes to 737 Max 8

March 12, 2019

The US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Boeing to make changes to its 737 Max 8. However, it said the new airliner was still safe to fly in the United States.

Boeing 737 MAX 9
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/T. Warren

US federal aviation authorities on Monday said they will order Boeing to make improvements to its 737 Max 8 following two deadly crashes in the past five months involving the new airliner, but did not ground the jet.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified Boeing that it anticipates design changes, including adding anti-stalling software and maneuvering system updates by April.

On Tuesday, the UK Civil Aviation Authority announced it was grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft until further notice as a "precautionary measure." Britain is the first EU country to suspend 737 Max 8 flights. Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Oman also announced temporary suspensions.

Read more: Boeing 737 MAX: Is the new airplane safe?  

It also said that Boeing will update training requirements and flight crew manuals.

However, it did not order the grounding the 737 Max 8 jets in the United States.

"If we identify an issue that affects safety, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action," it said in a statement.

Hours later, Boeing said it would upgrade the software on all 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the next few weeks.

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao reassured passengers that the country's aviation safety authorities were "taking this seriously and monitoring latest developments."

Julian Bray: Boeing 737 MAX a ‘real enigma’

Countries ground fleets

The announcement came after Ethiopia, China, Indonesia and several other countries grounded their 737 Max 8 as a safety precaution in response to an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash on Sunday that killed all 157 people on board.

On Monday, investigators recovered two black box recorders that they hope will help reveal why the Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed into the ground moments after take off.

The disaster came months after the same model of jet belonging to Indonesia's Lion Air crashed in October, killing all 189 passengers and crew.

Boeing said it was still confident in the safety in the MAX series.

The airline manufacturer's shares fell by 5 percent on Monday trading, wiping some $12.7 billion (€11.3 billion) off the company's market value.

Flight recorders found

wmr, cw/aw (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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