Ottawa Keeps Boeing 737 Max Aircraft Grounded

Ottawa is keeping the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 Max aircraft grounded despite the fact that the aircraft has been cleared for takeoff by American regulators.

Canada’s Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday that Canada will impose different requirements than the U.S. before it lifts the grounding orders for the Boeing 737 Max airplane, including additional procedures on the flight deck and pre-flight, and differences in training for flight operators.

Garneau's remarks followed a U.S. announcement that the Boeing 737 Max, which was involved in two fatal crashes in recent years, will be permitted to fly again once Boeing makes changes to the software and computer systems on the aircraft and provides training to pilots in updated flight simulators.

The Boeing 737 Max had been grounded since March 2019 following the crashes of a Lion Air flight near Jakarta, Indonesia on October 29, 2018, and an Ethiopian Airlines flight on March 10, 2019, killing a total of 346 people.

Among the casualties from the Ethiopian Airlines flight were 18 Canadians, including a professor from Carleton University in Ottawa; a conservationist from Orillia, Ontario; and an Edmonton woman and her five-year-old daughter.

A lengthy investigation by the U.S. Congress prompted criticism of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for setting lax standards in approving the aircraft to fly and of Boeing executives, who Congress said compromised safety to maximize profits.

Investigators found that both crashes were caused by faulty sensors that pushed the aircraft's nose downward during flights. Boeing had devised anti-stall software to compensate for the plane's tendency to tilt nose-up, but the system prevented pilots from regaining control of the aircraft when the sensors malfunctioned.

Government agencies around the world, including Transport Canada, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration have been conducting independent processes for deciding whether to recertify the airplane to fly.