China’s Aviation Safety Agency on Thursday cleared the way for Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft to return to commercial service, after more than three years., And almost a year after the plane . Airlines will need to make a number of changes to the aircraft, including software upgrades, additional pilot training and modifications to the operational manual, according to the Aviation Competency Guideline issued by the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration.
“After a thorough assessment, the CAAC believes that corrective measures are sufficient to address this insecure situation,” the agency said in a statement.
The decision is the first step in lifting the grounding order banning the 737 Max from flying in Chinese airspace. After the second Max crash, in Ethiopia in March 2019, China was the first country to land the plane.
More than 80 countries followed their own grounding orders, but most, the United States,By June, Boeing had made changes. . China, a huge aviation market and a major customer of Boeing, is one of the last countries to cancel its order. Indonesia, where the first crash occurred, and Russia have two holdouts remaining.
Although the CAAC has not set a date for the resumption of passenger flights, they could be resumed by the end of the month. After the grounding order expires, non-Chinese airlines will be able to fly Max into the country’s airspace.
Boeing, which may resume Max shipments to China next year, praised the agency’s move. “CAAC’s decision is a significant milestone in the safe return of the 737 MAX to China,” the company said in a statement.
Many Chinese airlines operate Max, including Air China, China Eastern China Southern, Hainan Airlines and Donggai Airlines. The country is also developing a 737 Max competitor in the Comac C919, but the aircraft is yet to enter service.