Brazil Follows FAA in Lifting 737 Max Grounding

 - November 26, 2020, 4:49 AM

Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has given the go-ahead for the Boeing 737 Max airliner to resume operations. The decision, announced late on Wednesday, came one week after the FAA lifted its 20-month grounding of the narrowbody, which was imposed in March 2019 following two fatal accidents resulting in the loss of 346 lives.

ANAC said it would apply exactly the same conditions as those issued by the FAA in its airworthiness directive. The organization said it had assigned 20 engineers and pilots to joint efforts with Boeing and FAA officials to certify required changes to the aircraft.

By contrast, EASA published a proposed airworthiness directive on November 24 that would impose several additional conditions such as allowing pilots to deactivate the stick shaker via a circuit breaker in the event of a false stall warning and not, initially, permitting “certain types of high-precision landings.” The European agency will also require additional pilot training to ensure pilots fully understand all aspects of the Max’s redesigned flight control system. It expects to lift the grounding around mid-January after a 28-day comment period.

Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes, which is the only airline operating the Max in Brazil, said last week that it may be ready to resume operations before the end of 2020, provided it has been able to get sign off on changes to its aircraft and operating procedures. The carrier was forced to ground all seven of the Max 8 aircraft and reached agreement with Boeing to cancel 34 of the 129 orders it held for the type as part of a $412 million settlement.

Last week, Boeing released an extensive plan covering the return-to-service process for hundreds of aircraft, starting with those in the U.S. In March 2020, the airframer resumed production of the model at a low rate.