FAA: International Panel Nears Release of Cert Findings

 - September 5, 2019, 1:07 PM

Saying the Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR) panel is taking additional time to complete its review, the FAA is now expecting the group to submit findings on its probe into the 737 Max certification activities in the next several weeks.

Formed in April, the panel comprises technical experts from the FAA, NASA, and nine civil aviation authorities, and is chaired by former National Transportation Safety Board chairman Christopher Hart. The JATR has delved into issues surrounding the design, certification, regulations, compliance, training, and Organization Designation Authorization activities associated with the 737 Max. Initially, the goal was to complete the review within 90 days.

In an update, the FAA said the panel is “finishing documenting its work” and “We expect the group to submit its observations, findings, and recommendations in the coming weeks.”

The FAA cautioned that the certification review is separate from its own review surrounding efforts to return the Max to service and stressed it is following a “thorough process” rather than a prescribed timeline. The beleaguered agency also reiterated it welcomes scrutiny of the experts and “will incorporate any changes that would improve our certification activities.”

That update on the work of the international panel, however, was released as European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) executive director Patrick Ky warned that the Boeing 737 Max grounding and the relationship Boeing allegedly enjoyed with the FAA during the certification of the model could trigger a “very strong change” in the hierarchy of the relationship between the certification authorities.