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Opinion: International Civil Aviation Regulatory Authorities “Chill” Boeing 737 Max Recertification

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had hoped that there would be a “clean” return of the Boeing 737 Max, where international regulatory authorities would respect the recertification, but those hopes have been dashed.

Boeing 737 Max - Photo: Courtesy Boeing

Last week the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) stated that they would require their own re-certification process and now according to Bloomberg, the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation would follow suit. Traditionally, international civil aviation regulatory agencies would follow the lead of the aircraft manufacturer’s governing agency. However, after two crashes of the Boeing 737 Max within six months over the last year, the reputations of Boeing and the FAA have been tarnished.

There is no question that Boeing and Airbus are fiercely competing for the same commercial aircraft customers, but the potential chilling effect created by a breakdown of mutual respect between major civil aviation regulatory agencies can’t be overstated. Perhaps we have entered a new economic Cold War where the Russian phrase “Doveryai, no proveryai” (Trust but verify), popularized by President Reagan in the 1980’s, will be the new normal for the industry. We believe the reintroduction of the 737 Max before it is completely ready would result in an unrecoverable position for both Boeing and the FAA.

Therefore, we are confident that recertification will only take place after all issues have been satisfactorily remediated. All cynicism aside, the fact remains that Boeing and their airline customers will suffer financially for each unnecessary day of delay after FAA recertification. We are still holding out hope that the FAA and Boeing will address the concerns of international regulatory agencies so their independent recertification's will be accomplished in a timely manner.

Source: Bloomberg


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