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FAA requires inspections before some Boeing 737 MAX 9 flights can resume

Written by The Anand Market

Updated on:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration said on Saturday it would order the temporary grounding of some Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft after an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing on Friday following the loss of part of the fuselage.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker said the agency is requiring immediate inspections of some planes before they can resume flying. The order concerns 171 aircraft worldwide.

The Emergency Airworthiness Directive will require operators to inspect aircraft that do not comply with inspection cycles before any further flight. The required inspections will take approximately four to eight hours by plane.

United Airlines also operates the MAX 9 and had no immediate comment.

Alaska Airlines said Saturday morning that it had voluntarily and temporarily grounded its fleet of 65 MAX 9 planes following the incident. It resumed operations using about a quarter of the planes after inspections revealed no findings of concern.

It is unclear whether the FAA directive will reflect Alaska’s inspections. Alaska canceled around a hundred flights on Saturday, or 13% of scheduled operations, according to FlightAware.

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson said the union “supports the FAA’s swift and decisive action to ground certain 737 MAX 9s in the fleet that are not on schedule.” inspection procedures specified in the Emergency Airworthiness Directive. ensuring the safety of all crew and passengers, as well as confidence in aviation safety.

He added that every American deserves a full explanation from Boeing and the FAA about what went wrong and what steps are being taken to ensure another incident does not happen in the future.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Daniel Wallis and Chris Reese)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters.