June 29 (UPI) -- The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday cleared Boeing to continue testing the troubled 737 Max, which has been under scrutiny for more than a year after two crashes killed 346 people.
The Federal Aviation Administration Sunday cleared Boeing to continue testing the troubled 737 Max which has been under scrutiny for more than a year after faulty software was blamed for two crashes with six months of each other.
The FAA confirmed it would allow continued testing in an email to staffers in Congress.
"Over the past several weeks the FAA has been reviewing the system safety assessment submitted by Boeing," the FAA said in the communication. "The FAA's Type Inspection Authorization Board has completed its review, clearing the way for flight certification testing to begin."
The testing is considered to be one of the last steps taken before the FAA could certify an aircraft for use.
"Flights with FAA test pilots could begin as early as [Monday], evaluating Boeing's proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX," the FAA said, according to CNN. "Testing is expected to take several days, and will include a wide array of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to enable the agency to assess whether the changes meet FAA certification standards."
The 737 Max has not flown since mid-2019 after the two flights in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. Since then Boeing has struggled to correct old software problems and a new one that cropped up, keeping the plane grounded. The problems have cost Boeing $18.7 billion so far.
"Boeing continues to work diligently to support the safe return of the 737 Max to commercial service," Boeing said in a statement. "We defer to the FAA and global regulators on the process."