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RENTON, WA - NOVEMBER 18: Boeing 737 Max airplanes sit parked at the company's production facility on November 18, 2020 in Renton, Washington. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today cleared the Max for flight after 20 months of grounding. The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.   David Ryder/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY == (AFP)
RENTON, WA - NOVEMBER 18: Boeing 737 Max airplanes sit parked at the company's production facility on November 18, 2020 in Renton, Washington. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today cleared the Max for flight after 20 months of grounding. The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. David Ryder/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY == (AFP)

India waits as Boeing Max gets US nod

FAA approved the ‘return to service’ of 737 Max with extensive fixes

India’s aviation regulator said on Wednesday it is awaiting formal communication on the decision of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow Boeing Co.’s 737 Max planes to resume flights after a prolonged grounding.

Arun Kumar, who heads the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), did not elaborate.

FAA approved the “return to service" of 737 Max with extensive fixes. The US aviation regulator grounded the aircraft in March 2019, which was followed suit by DGCA, after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max near Addis Ababa on 10 March, killing 157 people, including four Indians, and another Lion Air crash in October 2018 that killed 180 people in Indonesia.

“FAA has identified the required return-to-service activities for operators of the 737 MAX and heightened surveillance and tracking of those related activities for aviation safety inspectors," FAA said in a notice on its website on Wednesday.

The new airworthiness directive issued by FAA for 737 Max aircraft operators requires the installation of new flight control computer software, revising the existing aeroplane flight manual to incorporate new and revised flight crew procedures, installing new Max display system software and performing an operational readiness flight, among others.

Following the FAA decision, aviation regulators worldwide, including DGCA, are expected to shortly begin steps to permit the operation of the 737 Max.

Currently, SpiceJet Ltd is the only Indian airline operating the aircraft with 13 737 Max planes in its fleet, according to data from the airline’s website.

“The FAA today rescinded the order that halted commercial operations of Boeing 737-8s and 737-9s. The move will allow airlines that are under the FAA’s jurisdiction to take the steps necessary to resume service and Boeing to begin making deliveries," Boeing said in a statement.

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