WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Aviation Administration acting chief Dan Elwell told lawmakers on Wednesday he expects Boeing Co to submit a software fix for the grounded 737 MAX involved in two fatal crashes for approval soon, and said he was concerned by the planemaker’s lengthy delay in disclosing a software anomaly.
Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies during the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Aviation Subcommittee hearing on Status of the Boeing 737 MAX on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsAt a congressional hearing, the chairman of the U.
S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee told the FAA it must “get it right” in deciding when to allow the Boeing 737 MAX to fly again. “The world is watching and the FAA and Boeing must get it right,” Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio said, adding the incidents have raised concerns about how the FAA certifies aircraft.
The Boeing 737 MAX plane was grounded worldwide in mid-March after two crashes in October and March killed 346 people. Elwell said the agency expects to get the software upgrade and training update from Boeing in the “next week or so.” He said the FAA will only allow the plane to resume flights when it is “absolutely safe to do so .
.. It’s important we get this right,” Elwell said. Elwell said Boeing should not have waited 13 months to tell the FAA that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the 737 MAX, instead of standard as on earlier 737s. Elwell said he was “concerned” by the delay.
“We’re going to look into that,” Elwell said. “Thirteen months is too long.” The FAA is planning a May 23 meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, with air regulators from around the world to update them on the reviews. U.S. airlines have canceled flights as a result of the 737 MAX grounding into August.
Related CoverageSouthwest CEO says Boeing made mistakes but he is hopeful 737 MAX will fly this summerElwell said he hopes the international aviation community will work together. “My hope is that they have the confidence in our work and our analysis to make their ungrounding decisions if that’s where the discussion is as close to our decision as possible,” he said.
Democratic Representative Rick Larsen, who chairs the aviation subcommittee that held Wednesday’s hearing, said the FAA “has a credibility problem. The FAA needs to fix its credibility problem.” Boeing has said its software upgrade and associated pilot training will add layers of protection to prevent erroneous data from triggering the system called MCAS.
. The system activated in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and also during a separate Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October. Elwell said Boeing should have included more details on MCAS in.....