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India will take a conservative view on allowing Boeing 737 MAX planes to fly again, says DGCA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 29, 2019

SpiceJet is the only Indian carrier having a Boeing MAX aircraft in its fleet   -  Getty Images/RooM RF

New Delhi will take a“conservative view” on allowing Boeing 737 MAX on to fly again on India’s airlines, Arun Kumar, Director-General of Civil Aviation, said on Thursday.

Aviation regulators worldwide had grounded the plane after the model was involved in two fatal crashes. The DGCA grounded all India-registered Boeing MAX 737 aircraft in March this year.

At the moment, SpiceJet is the only Indian airline which has a Boeing MAX aircraft. Jet Airways, which suspended operations in April, was the only other Indian airline to have ordered this model.

Kumar, however, declined to specify whether India will be among the first few countries to allow the Boeing 737 MAX to fly again after it is certified by global aviation authorities including the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

Indications are that the DGCA will wait till a sufficient number of countries allow the MAX to restart flying, and after the Indian regulator is fully satisfied that the plane is safe, it will allow the aircraft to restart flying in India.

The DG, who was taking part in a media workshop organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, said that the FAA is likely to start the process of certification of Boeing 737 MAX in October.

BS Bhullar, who was DG when the planes were grounded, had then told newspersons that while the DGCA had shared with the FAA and Boeing all the steps it was taking to ensure safe flights by the aircraft, the responses received from them were generic.

“It was a general thing. On the specific issues we raised, we felt that they were not being addressed. World over, the general (feeling) of every robust regulator is that, at this moment, there are safety concerns,” Bhullar had said.

Published on August 29, 2019

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