737 MAX: Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority – no hurry to approve airworthiness
The USA FAA may have approved the return to the air of the Boeing 737 Max after its year-long grounding following 2 deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019, but the Australian safety authority CASA is in no hurry as there is currently no Australian based airline flying the jets.
CASA plans to wait for European regulators to form a position before it takes a view itself. That is likely to push the decision into 2021, but given Virgin Australia will only take possession of its rejigged fleet of 737 MAX 10 planes in mid 2023 – there is no pressure on CASA to approve expiditiously.
Northern Territory Boneyard
There are however 8 or more of the aircraft sitting in hibernation at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility just outside Alice Springs, which CASA, according to the AFR is happy for airlines to complete repairs and possibly test flights, or indeed to fly the planes home to their owners.
CASA suspended authority to operate the Boeing 737 MAX soon after the 2nd deadly crash in Ethiopia, now known to be due to faulty instruments and software on the plane.
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
Take your time CASA. Better that you be safe than sorry. Remember how the complicity of the FAA with Boeing led to their initial approval for the faulty airplane. Better to be sure that the FAA didn’t make the same error twice.
Not sure I will be travelling on one of these MAX jets anytime soon, willingly.
What did you say?