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U.S. clears Boeing 737 MAX airplane to commercial service with conditions

Christian Fernsby |
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it cleared Boeing's 737 MAX airplane to fly after grounding flights for 20 months following two fatal crashes.

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The regulator will allow the aircraft to return to commercial service with certain conditions.

The FAA released design changes that must be made before service resumes and issued a list of notifications and training requirements.

Boeing must also approve 737 MAX pilot training program revisions for each U.S. airline operating the aircraft, in addition to forcing airlines that have parked MAX aircraft to take required maintenance steps to prepare for flights.

"The design and certification of this aircraft included an unprecedented level of collaborative and independent reviews by aviation authorities around the world," the statement said. "Those regulators have indicated that Boeing’s design changes, together with the changes to crew procedures and training enhancements, will give them the confidence to validate the aircraft as safe to fly in their respective countries and regions.”

The FAA said it will continue to work closely with foreign civil aviation administrations to further evaluate the 737 MAX.

"We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations," said David Calhoun, chief executive officer of The Boeing Company. "These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity."

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