September 17, 2019 / 1:07 AM / a month ago

International panel to criticize U.S. FAA's Boeing 737 MAX approval process - WSJ

Sept 16 (Reuters) - A panel of international air-safety regulators is finishing a report which is expected to criticize the initial U.S. approval process for Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people briefed on the conclusions.

As part of the panel’s findings, the task force will call out U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for what it says is a lack of clarity and transparency in the way the FAA delegated authority to Boeing to evaluate the safety of certain flight-control features, the Journal reported, adding that the final conclusion in some of these essential design changes did not receive adequate FAA attention.

The panel is expected to call for greater data-sharing and transparency among different governments, WSJ reported, with the draft report recommending reviewing and updating FAA guidance and day-to-day certification procedures to ensure early and significant FAA involvement in new onboard systems.

The multi-agency panel is called the Joint Authorities Technical Review and includes air-safety regulators from Canada, China, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, Brazil and the United States. It is expected to release the report in the next few weeks, the WSJ said.

Boeing’s 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March after two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia within five months of each other. The FAA on Monday said its new chief, Stephen Dickson, plans to travel to Seattle this week to fly “newly configured” Boeing 737 MAX software in a simulator.

Boeing and FAA did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Sathvik N in Bengaluru

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