MIAMI – Yesterday, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published its Proposed Airworthiness Directive (PAD) for the Boeing 737 MAX. The release of this document indicates that the Agency getting into the final stages before the MAX will be allowed to fly again within the EU.

For this return to service, EASA decided to conduct its own final assessment of the Boeing 737 MAX, particularly of the changes it requested. As it announced on November 20, EASA decided not to adopt the Airworthiness Directive (AD) published by the FAA, and instead have created its own.

There are some small differences between the proposed AD issued by the FAA and EASA, mainly in operation. The aircraft themselves will be the same, when looking at them technically, in both the USA and EU.

Boeing 737 MAX. Photo: Boeing

Changes Requested by EASA

The changes requested by both EASA and the FAA require a software update to the flight control computer. The software update will also include a new alert, to be sounded when there is an Angle of Attack disagreement. Rewiring of the aircraft will also occur, with the wires to the stabilizer trim motor being isolated.

In addition, flight manuals and training will be updated, with mandatory training added for all 737 MAX Pilots. Further tests of systems will be required, and each aircraft will be required to conduct an operational readiness flight before returning to service.

The two main points which differ from the FAA’s AD are: the ability for the Flight Crew to disable the stick shaker if it is shaking in error. This will require the pulling of the corresponding circuit breaker, which will be given a colored cap. As well, a restriction on the use of auto pilot for some high-precision landings will be in place, but is expected to be a shorter term restriction.

Photo: boeing

What’s Next?

The PAD is open for comments for 28 days. EASA and Boeing have also made an agreement that the crew alerting systems in general will be assessed regarding human factors, and further resilience will be added to the Angle of Attack sensor system.

During the grounding of the 737 MAX, several EU members seperately banned the MAX from their airspace. These bans will need to be lifted separately from the blanket ban ordered by EASA.

Featured image: Boeing