By WSJ City
The Federal Aviation Administration has signalled it is preparing to start flight trials of Boeing's proposed 737 MAX safety enhancement as early as this week, according to people familiar with the details, while the plane maker's chief executive vowed to restore public confidence in the jet.
-- CEO Dennis Muilenburg said he was disappointed in the communication
lapses surrounding the MAX.
-- A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that 25% of US fliers said they
would try to avoid flying on a MAX.
-- Flight trials are a crucial step toward returning the MAX to the sky
after it was idled world-wide over safety concerns.
-- The start of FAA-run airborne testing could prepare for the MAX to
potentially return to US airspace late summer.
-- Boeing previously said it completed extensive flight tests of its own and
submitted the results to the FAA.
"We're going to bring a MAX back up in the air that will be one of the safest airplanes ever to fly. But we also know it will take time rebuilding the confidence of our customers and the flying public, and this will be a long-term effort," said Muilenburg, on the eve of the Paris Air Show.
Why This Matters
Boeing's effort to repair its reputational damage is taking on a greater sense of urgency with the FAA preparing to take an important step to return the MAX to service by late summer. Barring last-minute snags, the agency may start flight testing the MAX as early as this week to assess whether an upgrade developed by the US plane maker fixes a flight-control system implicated in two fatal crashes, according to people familiar with the planning. Another person briefed on the matter said that timeline could slip.
A fuller story is available on WSJ.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 17, 2019 04:12 ET (08:12 GMT)
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