WASHINGTON – The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Tuesday that its review has found no basis whatsoever to order the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, the operation of which has been banned by Europe and many other countries following the plane crash in Ethiopia that caused 157 deaths.
“Thus far, our review shows no systematic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” acting FAA administrator Daniel K. Elwell said in the statement.
The FAA, which has a joint team together with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the area of the March 10 disaster in Ethiopia, said other civil aviation authorities in other countries have also not provided them with data to justify any action.
“In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,” the statement added.
On Tuesday, after China, Indonesia, and other countries vetoed this Boeing model, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that, as a “precautionary measure” and to “ensure the safety of passengers,” it also banned all 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX aircraft from flying in its airspace.
Boeing insisted on Tuesday on the safety of its range of 737 MAX aircraft and referred to the US aviation authority to argue that there are no reasons to issue new guidelines to operators.
The manufacturer has faced serious punishment at the New York Stock Exchange over the last two days, never seen in 10 years: on Monday, Boeing shares lost nearly $13 billion, and on Tuesday, with a decline of 6.15 percent, went down another $14 billion, a total of $27 billion in 48 hours.
White House spokesman Judd Deere told EFE on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump spoke with Boeing president Dennis Muilenburg and confirmed that the White House continues to monitor the situation.
Trump advocated on Twitter on Tuesday for “simpler” airplanes that do not require “Albert Einstein” as a pilot.
“Airplanes are becoming far too complex to fly. Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT,” Trump added, referring to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, adding that “Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better.”
In October 2018, another Boeing 737 MAX 8, from the low-cost Indonesian airline Lion Air, crashed into the Java Sea with 189 people on board, and the recovered black box revealed failures in the automated anti-stall system.