The list of countries that have suspended the use of the flawed aircraft make Boeing 737 Max 8 continues to grow even as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the USA says the aircraft is safe.
The safety concerns follow the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people onboard and a Lion Air flight that went down in Indonesia in October, killing 189 people. Both accidents involved a newly delivered Boeing 737 MAX 8.
Following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines on Sunday, the Boeing 737 Max, which is said to have a flawed Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS system, was brought under the spotlight once again.
The experts had observed that MCAS would sometimes take in false readings, display them and in worst cases, plunging the aircraft in a nosedive position towards the ground.
FAA did however, say it would mandate “design changes” to the aircraft to be done by next month, in response to last fall’s Lion Air crash.
There will also be changes to how the system, known formally as MCAS, is activated, how it responds to angle-of-attack signals, and a “maximum command limit” on the number of times it can engage, said the FAA, adding that it expects to issue an airworthiness directive mandating the software enhancement no later than next month.
Nonetheless, the following countries and airlines have suspended the use of the aircraft in their air space or fleet respectively.
China, Ethiopia, Singapore, Argentina (Aerolineas Argentinas), Brazil (Gol Airlines), South Korea (Eastar jet), Indonesia, Cayman Islands (a British oversees territory), Australia, India (Jet Airway), Maylasia, Ireland.
Big Powers Join In
France, Germany and the UK just banned the Boeing 737 Max 8 from their airspace.
Air Italy, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines and Russian airline S7 said they were closely following the ongoing investigation into the crash, but the aircraft will continue to be used as scheduled.
Other countries such as Norway, Dubai and Canada; and airlines such as IcelandAir say they are confident in the aircraft.
Over 5000 Boeing 737 Max planes have been ordered. This translates to a huge sum of money, thereby making it impossible for Boeing to ground the programme.
Boeing is still monitoring the situation closely.
US National Transport and Safety Board and FAA are currently carrying out investigations in Ethiopia.
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