On May 29th, 2019, activities conducted and measures adopted for the relaunch of the flights suspended due to the inspections made after the fatal accidents met by the Boeing 737 MAX Series aircraft, first in Indonesia (LION Air) and then in Ethiopia (Ethiopian Airlines), were discussed at the meeting held in Fort Worth, TX, USA, organized by the FAA on May 23, 2019.
In addition to the representatives from 31 different countries such as France, Germany, UAE, Singapore, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Japan and Canada, a total of nearly 100 authorized experts from international organizations such as the ICAO and the EASA attended the meeting. Turkey was represented with a Technical Team of 4 representatives composed of Control Pilots and Engineers employed at the UOD (Flight Operation Department) and the UED (Air Worthiness Department) Departments led by the Vice Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Haydar Yalçın.
The information acquired during the investigations made on the accidents resulting in the suspension of the flights was assessed during the meeting, and the implementation status of the immediate Airworthiness Directive issued right after the first accident and the software updates on the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (known as MCAS) installed especially to these type of aircraft were examined as well. It was underlined in the meeting that the MCAS was developed with new software required for a safe flight in addition to the requirement of reflecting these types of activities to the simulator supported activities along with existing pilot training.
The report to be published as a result of the activities launched at the end of April by the Technical Consultancy Council established by 8 different countries/organizations under the leadership of the FAA and projected to finalize by the end of July is expected to become a crucial resource during the relaunch of such aircraft.
The FAA’s Vice President shared with the participants that the activities were being executed precisely in a way to prioritize flight safety and that they would continue to share the results in a transparent manner.
Turkey has a total of 13 B737 MAX series aircraft and the flights of which were suspended. This figure is expected to exceed 30 with the additional aircraft projected to be delivered until the end of June 2019.
In the statement declared by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation regarding the meeting, it was stated that the activities conducted for the technical developments to rectify the technical faults causing the accidents of the B737 MAX series aircraft on a local and global scale were followed closely, and that the relaunch of the flights of these aircraft were absolutely not an option without both design modifications and software updates and the fulfilment of the requirement of training emerging as a result of the new system.