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FAA meets with international regulators over Boeing 737 Max

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 23 May 2019
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Representatives from more 30 countries met with Federal Aviation Administration officials Thursday to hear the U.S. regulator's approach to determining how soon the Boeing 737 Max can resume flying after two crashes that killed 346 people.

Before the meeting, acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell declined to give a timetable for the plane's return. He hinted it could be several months, saying that even October — a later return than airlines expected — might not be realistic.

The meeting is crucial to the U.S. agency's hopes of convincing other regulators around the world to lift their bans on the plane soon after the FAA does.

Among those scheduled to attend were regulators from China, Europe and Canada, as well as officials from Indonesia and Ethiopia, sites of the two crashes that occurred before the Max was grounded worldwide in March.

Boeing is fixing flight-control software that in each accident pushed the plane's nose down based on faulty readings from a single sensor. It will tie the system to more than one sensor and make it less powerful — pilots for Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines were unable to counter the system's automatic nose-down pitch.

Elwell has said he hopes other regulators will lift their bans on the plane soon after FAA does.

However, regulators in China, the European Union and Canada have said they plan to conduct their own reviews of Boeing's software changes and the need for additional pilot training.

The FAA did not allow reporters to attend or watch the meeting, and it kept them away from international aviation officials who attended the all-day session at a gated FAA office in Fort Worth, Texas.

It is unclear whether the event will do much to convince travelers that the Max is safe.

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News video: FAA Meets With Air Regulators On Fate Of Boeing 737 MAX

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