FAA Official: Grounded 737 Max Aircraft Should Be Flying Again by December

Boeing Co.'s 737 Max aircraft, grounded since March after two fatal crashes in five months, should be back in the air by December, a top U.S. regulator said.It's not possible to give an exact date as work progresses on safety fixes to the aircraft, Ali Bahrami, the Federal Aviation Administration's associate administrator for aviation safety, said in an interview Wednesday at a conference in Cologne, Germany.While the FAA is "under a lot of pressure," he said the Max will be returned to service "when we believe it will be safe," following reviews of the design, flight testing and other checks. Bahrami was reluctant to provide a timeline, but asked whether the plane would resume service this year or next, he said remarks by Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg projecting a return by the end of 2019 sounded correct.Knowing when the latest version of the 737 will fly again would help airlines contend with the disruption caused by the grounding of the narrow-body, Boeing's most popular model. The FAA has said that there's no time frame to sign off on Boeing's proposed fix for the jet.Muilenburg said last week on CNBC that he expected that the Max would be back in the air by year-end.  Continue reading...

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