The Boeing 737 MAX has discredited the entire aviation industry, but in particular plane maker Boeing and the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It’s obvious that Boeing’s reputation has suffered a lot as profit appeared to have a higher priority than safety. The FAA’s reputation is also damaged as the agency appeared to be partly dependent on Boeing, due the agency’s underfunding. It will take a long time before in particular Boeing will have restored its reputation.
Even though the ban on the Boeing 737 MAX has been lifted – at least in the USA - it will take months before the plane will be back in the skies. Airlines have stored their aircraft for more than 20 months, so they need to be inspected before they can fly again.
Still work to do
But more has to be done. The planes need to be updated and pilots need to be retrained worldwide. In the USA alone 14,000 pilots must be retrained. Prior to that the FAA must approve pilot training program revisions for each US airline operating the plane. Similar procedures will have to be followed in other countries where the MAX is operated.
Will trust be restored?
The FAA has worked with its sister organizations in Canada, the European Union and Brazil on the revised pilot training for the MAX. However, a crucial element for airlines is the uncertainty about flyers’ willingness to travel again on the MAX. American Airlines anticipates on this sentiment in a message to American’s leaders and team members:
“We know that restoring our customers’ confidence in this aircraft will come with time and importantly, transparency and flexibility. If a customer doesn’t want to fly on the 737 MAX, they won’t have to. Our customers will be able to easily identify whether they are traveling on one even if schedules change. If a customer prefers to not fly on this aircraft, we’ll provide flexibility to ensure they can be easily re-accommodated.”
Tags: Boeing 737 MAX, FAA, pilot retraining, flyers’ confidence