Release #: 20.36
November 18, 2020

FAA’s Return-to-Service Protocol for Boeing 737 MAX


MCLEAN, Va.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement today after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published the final Airworthiness Directive and Flight Standardization Board report for the Boeing 737 MAX, paving the way for the aircraft’s return to service after being grounded internationally since March 13, 2019:

“Based on the Airworthiness Directive, ALPA believes that the engineering fixes to the flight-critical aircraft systems are sound and will be an effective component that leads to the safe return to service of the 737 MAX.

“While ALPA continues to review the specific enhanced flight crew training details contained in the Flight Standardization Board report, the months-long process, involvement, and collaboration by all segments of the industry has demonstrated an earnest commitment to the aircraft’s airworthiness and improved documentation and procedures.

“ALPA has been and continues to be actively engaged with Boeing and the FAA on issues surrounding the 737 MAX, and while these changes are a positive step forward, it is also critical that there be significant improvements to the FAA certification process in order to further enhance aviation safety. These necessary improvements will ensure that we do not encounter a similar situation with future aircraft. The legislation sponsored by Congressman DeFazio, and passed by the House of Representatives yesterday, addresses the certification processes that must be revised and improved.

“As the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, ALPA will continue to work closely with regulators and stakeholders to ensure that, as an industry, we strengthen our aviation system and restore public trust.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.

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CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org