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Parliamentary questions
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12 June 2019
E-001514/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001514/2019

The accident investigation, led by the Ethiopian authorities, is ongoing. European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), along with other safety related authorities and agencies, is supporting the Ethiopian authorities. At this stage, it is still too early to draw any definitive conclusions as to the cause of the accident.

As a precautionary measure in the interest of passenger safety, EASA has published an Airworthiness Directive suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX aeroplanes in Europe. In due course, when the cause(s) of the accident has been established, the relevant corrective measures, as appropriate, will be taken.

The current suspension of operations will be lifted by EASA if and when the following prerequisites are met:

1. The design changes proposed by Boeing shall be approved by EASA and then made mandatory;
2. An additional independent design review shall be completed by EASA, which objective it to ensure that no similar weaknesses in the design are present in the other areas of the B737 MAX flight control system;
3. The scenario of the accidents (Lion Air and Ethiopian) shall be deemed sufficiently understood to provide confidence that the scope of the design review is comprehensive and adequate;
4. The B737 MAX flight crews shall have been adequately trained (in accordance to the mandatory training defined as per point 1 and 2 above) before being authorised to fly again the aircraft.

The agreement (BASA — Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) between the European Union and the United Sates on aviation safety allows the two leading aviation safety authorities (EASA & the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration — FAA) to rely and trust each other’s respective regulatory systems in terms of aeronautical products’ certification. In the case of Boeing aircraft, the FAA, as a primary certifying authority, certifies the aircraft. EASA re-certifies as a ‘validation’ the FAA certificate on the basis of the FAA’s findings and an eventual additional testing in accordance with EU technical requirements that may differ from those in the U.S. The FAA does the same for Airbus products.

Last updated: 13 June 2019Legal notice