The MAX has been grounded since March following the second of two crashes that killed a total of 346 people.
Boeing 737 Max 8. (Photo: Reuters)
The top US air transport regulator on Wednesday doused Boeing’s hopes that its 737 MAX will return to the skies this year while lawmakers probed why the agency failed to ground the plane after the first of two tragic crashes. In an interview just ahead of a congressional hearing, Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson told CNBC the aircraft will not be cleared to fly before 2020.
The MAX has been grounded since March following the second of two crashes that killed a total of 346 people. The process for approving the MAX’s return to the skies still has 10 or 11 milestones left to complete, including a certification flight and a public comment period on pilot training requirements, the FAA chief said. “If you just do the math, it’s going to extend into 2020,” he said. Boeing has been aiming to win regulatory approval this month, with flights projected to resume in January.