ejak insiden yang menimpa Boeing 737 MAX Lion Air dan Ethiopian, pesawat tersebut dilarang terbang di seluruh dunia. Namun, hari ini Boeing akhirnya mendapat kabar positif setelah sekian lama.
Melalui Bloomberg, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) atau regulator penerbangan Eropa telah menyatakan puas atas perkembangan yang dilakukan oleh Boeing untuk pesawat Boeing 737 MAX.
Meski demikian, bukan berarti Boeing 737 MAX akan segera terbang dalam waktu dekat. EASA melalui Executive Director-nya, Patrick Ky, menyatakan bahwa Boeing 737 MAX dinyatakan aman dan bisa kembali terbang sebelum tahun 2020 berakhir.
Saat ini EASA sedang menyiapkan dokumen final untuk sertifikasi kelayakan terbang yang seharusnya akan rampung bulan depan. Kemudian komentar dari publik akan dikumpulkan selama periode 4 minggu. Barulah setelah itu di bulan Desember 2020, Boeing 737 MAX bisa kembali mengudara di langit Eropa.
Boeing 737 MAX Dituntut Lebih Baik
Meski sudah dinilai layak terbang, namun EASA nampaknya tidak akan puas dengan perkembangan saat ini. Kedepannya, EASA juga mengharapkan perkembangan lanjutan untuk Boeing 737 MAX. Spesifiknya, sistem sensor sintetis ketiga akan dipasang untuk meningkatkan level keamanan dari pesawat tersebut.
Pada insiden terjatuhnya pesawat Lion Air & Ethiopian, sistem sensor angle-of-attack (AOA) pada kedua pilot mengalami malfungsi. Sensor sintetis ketiga tersebut akan menjadi fitur back-up yang membantu pilot untuk melihat apakah pesawat mengarah ke atas atau ke bawah.
Disebutkan bahwa perlu waktu 2 tahun untuk mengembangkan sensor tambahan tersebut, yang mana akan diwajibkan pada varian terbesar Boeing 737 MAX 10 yang akan mulai beroperasi di tahun 2022.
Regulator penerbangan Eropa telah memberikan lampu hijau untuk pesawat Boeing 737 MAX. Kemungkinan besar kita bisa melihat pesawat tersebut mulai terbang di langit Eropa sebelum tahun 2021. Melihat perkembangan positif tersebut, tidak menutup kemungkinan pesawat tersebut akan turut mendapat sertifikasi & kembali terbang juga di benua lain.
Ketika kembali terbang, saya cukup percaya bahwa Boeing 737 MAX akan menjadi salah satu jenis pesawat teraman. Wajar saja mengingat banyaknya uji coba dan regulasi baru yang harus dipenuhi oleh Boeing. Meski masih ada keraguan, saya pribadi tidak masalah untuk terbang di pesawat tersebut.
After being grounded in March 2019 following two fatal crashes, the Boeing 737 MAX is expected to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly again later this fall. Investigations pointed to a problem with the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. This automated control system was designed to stabilize the plane and compensate for the more powerful engines used on the 737 MAX compared to previous versions.The FAA’s certification of the plane has come under fire because manufacturers can speed up the process by having only enhancements to a preapproved aircraft reviewed and certified. Ronnie R. Gipson Jr., an expert in aviation law and visiting professor at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, whose work was cited in the House Committee on transportation and infrastructure’s report on this issue, explains what happened and ways to improve these safety regulations.
What are the criticisms of the FAA certification process stemming from the 737 MAX crashes? The process for the certification of a transport category aircraft is a very involved and costly process. The aircraft manufacturers that go down this path have to be committed to spending hundreds of millions of dollars. It starts with an initial design, and the aircraft that is produced is then subjected to dynamic flight testing for compliance with all of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Once the airplane satisfies all those requirements, the aircraft is given an original type certificate by the FAA. The aircraft manufacturer is then allowed to produce aircraft and sell them.
As time goes on, technology advances and the manufacturer identifies ways to improve on that original design. So the manufacturer goes back to the FAA and says, “We want to take this initial design that we have and amend it because we made some changes.” At this point, the aircraft manufacturer files what’s called an amended type certificate application for a derivative aircraft from the baseline aircraft. For example, the original type certificate for the first 737 design was submitted to the FAA in 1967. That original design has had multiple derivative aircraft approved by the FAA, with the 737 MAX being the 13th version.In the amended type certification process, the regulatory authority focuses only on what’s changed.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the FAA just doesn’t have the manpower to oversee all the tests that go with an amended type certificate approval. Therefore, the FAA reviews most of the critical changes related to safety and delegates the noncritical changes for review to the manufacturers – in this case to a body in Boeing which consists essentially of Boeing employees.
And that’s what happened here. MCAS wasn’t necessarily presented as a change in the design impacting control in flight. As a result, the MCAS was not a priority for the FAA in the amended certificate approval process. The MCAS capabilities and what it was supposed to control were never fully revealed. That’s really where the problem started. It was with the narrative that was being presented to the FAA, and the lack of oversight in the amended type certificate process. The result was that the MCAS system that was initially presented to the FAA at the beginning of the amended type certificate process was not the same system that ended up in the aircraft (view chart in gallery).
How will the recent recertification for the 737 MAX ensure that the model is now safe? The FAA has had to backtrack and give the MCAS system the intense level of scrutiny that it deserved. The FAA has required the manufacturer to go back and make significant adjustments to the software, in addition to changes to the operator’s manual, which is what the pilots would see.
How can the certification process be improved?
I see two paths to take. First, for a transport category aircraft, regulations are changed so that the manufacturer can receive amended type certificates for only 20 years after the original type certificate has been issued by the FAA.Here’s how that would work: An aircraft manufacturer designs an aircraft for certification in the transport category and applies for the original type certificate in 2020. Once the original type certification is awarded in, say, 2025, then the manufacturer should have 20 years. That means that the manufacturer would have until the year 2045 to seek an amendment to that original type certificate. Beginning in 2046, if the aircraft manufacturer wants to make subsequent design changes, they have to start over and get a new original type certificate.The second component to resolving this problem would be to step in and review what areas the FAA can delegate oversight authority for system changes in an amended aircraft certification application review.
What are the obstacles to making these changes?
One would be money. The FAA has a budget, and these are very costly measures because the FAA will need more engineers and administrators. And for that to happen, Congress has to be prepared to spend the money to make that happen by increasing the FAA’s budget. There’s also going to be a cost to the industry. Implementing the proposal of a 20-year cap on the validity of that original type certificate is going to impose a greater financial cost on the aircraft manufacturers of transport category aircraft. They’re not going to have as much time to get a return on their investment for the aircraft that they produce. So the aircraft are going to end up costing more, which means the airlines are going to end up paying more for those planes. And that cost is going to trickle down to the flying public in those seats.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson on Wednesday will fulfill a promise he made just months after taking command of the regulatory agency in the midst of Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis.
“I am not going to sign off on this aircraft until I fly it myself and am satisfied I would put my own family on it without a second thought,” Dickson told FAA employees last November.
On Wednesday he’ll take off from Boeing Field in a high-profile test flight intended as Dickson’s personal assurance to the public that the MAX is safe following 19 months of intense scrutiny by his agency.
It’s the clearest signal yet that the FAA is poised to unground the jet in late October or early November.
The MAX was grounded worldwide in early March 2019 after the second of two fatal accidents that together killed 346 people aboard almost-new aircraft. A series of investigations established that the pilots on the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines jets struggled against a flawed flight control system on the MAX that overcame their commands.
Since then, the FAA and international regulators have been minutely examining the fixes proposed by Boeing.
As the company girds against the new existential threat posed by the historic pandemic-driven aviation downturn, Dickson’s flight is a high-stakes moment.
For the MAX crisis that has consumed Boeing, shattering its plans for accelerated production and causing the loss of significant market share to rival Airbus, it could perhaps at last be a turning point.
Dickson tests Boeing’s fixes Dickson’s MAX test plane is scheduled to depart from Boeing Field at about 9 a.m. and is expected to fly for about two hours. Dickson will brief reporters after landing, at a news conference around 11:30 a.m. that will be broadcast live on the FAA’s website and social-media platforms.
On Tuesday in Seattle, Dickson and FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell completed the recommended new pilot training for the MAX as part of the preparation for the flight.
Dickson is a former Air Force F-15 jet fighter pilot, and as a captain with Delta Air Lines he flew the previous models of the 737 as well as other Boeing and Airbus jets. At Delta, he rose to senior vice president of flight operations, responsible for the safety and operational performance of the airline’s global fleet.
He took charge of the FAA in July 2019.
Testifying in December before the U.S. House Transportation Committee, Dickson reiterated the FAA position that “when the 737 MAX is returned to service, it will be because the safety issues have been addressed and pilots have received all the training they need to safely operate the aircraft.”
Last December, Dickson starkly rebuked Boeing’s then-CEO Dennis Muilenburg for seeming to push for clearance to fly the MAX by the end of that month.
In August, the FAA laid out the proposed design changes on the MAX that it believes will make it safe. The proposals drew more than 200 comments from the public and aviation experts.
As the ungrounding approaches, foreign aviation regulators are lining up their own requirements and Congress is beginning to consider legislation to reform the process through which the FAA certifies airliners.
Last week, the executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Patrick Ky, said publicly that his agency expects to sign off on ungrounding the 737 MAX in November.
EASA will stipulate further changes beyond those in the FAA proposal, but Ky said those can be retrofitted after the jet’s return to service and so won’t delay the MAX’s ungrounding.
And on Monday, the House Committee on Transportation announced a bipartisan legislative proposal designed to strengthen the FAA certification process.
However, at this point ahead of the election, it’s unlikely new legislation can be passed before next year.
An FAA report detailing the required pilot training must be published, with a period for public comment.
And a multi-agency Technical Advisory Board must review the final design documentation and issue its report.
DUBLIN/PARIS (Reuters) – Leasing giant AerCap said on Wednesday it had cancelled 15 orders for the grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft as it slows the pace of new plane deliveries to weather the coronavirus crisis.
Announcing the cancellations – which leave 80 of the MAX jets still on its order books – the world’s largest aircraft owner also called for more production cuts by Boeing and rival Airbus to help balance the jet market.
AerCap, which has deferred dozens more MAX deliveries, said it remains uncertain when the five MAX planes already on lease will return to service, as regulators review changes to the jet after two fatal crashes.
U.S. authorities said last week they expect to give a green light in the “near future”. As a result, AerCap reached agreement with Boeing this month to restructure its order book, it said on Wednesday.
AerCap boss Aengus Kelly called for a further aircraft manufacturing slowdown as he reported a drop in second-quarter net income to $246 million from $331 million a year earlier, amid a global travel slump unleashed by the pandemic.
“I think we’ll see more production cuts both from Boeing and Airbus, to help us get to that equilibrium,” he said during an earnings call with analysts.
“I would be hopeful that tomorrow when Airbus release their results we’ll see another production cut there,” the AerCap CEO said. Airbus declined to comment ahead of its own results announcement on Thursday.
Leasing firms are traditionally conservative about production to preserve the value of their fleets, but the call from the world’s largest lessor puts pressure on Airbus to defend output levels that some analysts consider too high.
AerCap said it was well placed to weather the coronavirus crisis thanks to its $27 billion in unencumbered assets and record-high liquidity including $3 billion in new funding.
“We have begun leasing airplanes again, but it’s almost exclusively focused on the European market,” Kelly said, adding that earlier signs of a U.S. travel rebound had since “run out of steam” amid new virus outbreaks and lockdowns.
Despite European reversals such as renewed British quarantine measures for Spanish arrivals, a recovery is now “well underway” in the region, Kelly said.
“No doubt there will be setbacks, but the willingness and the desire of the consumer to travel is very clear.”
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Jan Harvey)
Boeing (NYSE:BA) has paid Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) $428 million due to ongoing issues with the 737 MAX, according to Southwest’s quarterly report filed Monday, a sign of how much the troubled aircraft is weighing on cash flow at the aerospace giant.
The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after a pair of fatal accidents, causing existing operators to scramble to fill their schedules with older planes. Southwest had 34 MAX planes in its fleet at the time of the grounding, and was scheduled to take delivery on 41 additional planes through the rest of the year.
The airline said in its second-quarter regulatory filing that it received $428 million in total cash proceeds from Boeing in the first half of 2020 as compensation for the issues. The two parties late last year reached a memorandum of understanding to compensate Southwest for estimated financial damages, but the terms were confidential at the time.
Boeing burned through $4.7 billion in the first quarter and is expected to report even higher cash burn when it reports second-quarter earnings this week, largely due to the ongoing 737 MAX issues. Southwest is just one customer for the plane, but it is an important one. Southwest has only flown 737s throughout its history, and the airline is responsible for a significant part of Boeing’s 737 MAX backlog.
Boeing hopes to have the 737 MAX recertified to fly before year’s end, but the financial ramifications from the grounding will continue for years to come. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said on a call with investors last week that the airline intends to renegotiate its future purchases.
“I think the way to visualize the situation with Boeing is that, basically, where we go from here needs to be negotiated, period,” Kelly said. “It’s almost like we don’t have a firm contract for deliveries. So all of that has to be completely reset because Boeing is out of compliance with their contract.”