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CAAS will lift Boeing 737 MAX suspension only when safety concerns have been 'adequately addressed'

CAAS will lift Boeing 737 MAX suspension only when safety concerns have been 'adequately addressed'

File photo of a SilkAir plane. (Photo: SilkAir)

SINGAPORE: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Friday (Mar 29) that it will allow the Boeing 737 MAX to resume operations here only when it sees no safety concerns relating to the aircraft type. 

“We will lift the suspension only when we are satisfied that the safety concerns relating to the Boeing 737 MAX have been adequately addressed,” said Mr Tan Kah Han, senior director for the safety regulation group, in a statement to CNA.

Mr Tan's comments came two days after the American aircraft manufacturer announced three fixes in its update of the 737 MAX’s anti-stall system known as MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.

READ: Singapore grounds Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after 2 deadly crashes

READ: The nations, airlines grounding Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

The first change will see the MCAS compare information from both the sensors that establish the "angle of attack" (AOA), a measurement that determines how close a plane is to stalling. The previous set-up only linked the MCAS to one sensor at a time, ignoring the other.

Next, Boeing said the MCAS will only be activated once per instance during sensor disagreements or what it described as a “non-normal condition”.

READ: Boeing to update 737 MAX anti-stall software with three proposed fixes

Thirdly, the MCAS will never command more stabiliser input than can be counteracted by the flight crew pulling back on the control yoke.

CAAS has been briefed on these updates, according to Mr Tan. 

“The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is in close communication with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulators, as well as with Boeing,” he said. 

SilkAir is the only operator of the aircraft type in Singapore and has six units, all of which have been grounded as part of a global effort responding to an Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board.

Source: CNA/ac(hs)

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