Boeing completes software update for 737 MAX planes

US airlines have targeted August as the date they expect to resume flying on the 737 MAX.

Boeing said that it completed its software update on the 737 MAX after two deadly crashes resulted in a global grounding of the aircraft.

The proposed fix, which addresses a problem with a flight handling system thought to be a factor in both crashes, must now win approval from US and international regulators before the planes can return to service. US airlines have targeted August as the date they expect to resume flying on the 737 MAX.

But Boeing’s announcement – which lifted shares of the embattled company – comes only a week before the US Federal Aviation Administration is set to brief its international peers among civil aviation regulators on its process for allowing the planes to fly again.

“This is an important milestone but it’s only one step,” said Scott Hamilton of consultancy Leeham. “Getting this software package today, one week ahead of the FAA-hosted global regulator meeting, doesn’t leave a lot of time for the FAA to decide.”

Boeing said it has flown the 737 MAX with updated software for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, thought to be a factor in both crashes, for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

“With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight,” CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement. “The accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity, because we know lives depend on what we do.”

Boeing is providing additional information to the FAA in anticipation of a certification test flight, a key step in winning regulatory approval, the company said.

In both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, the MCAS pointed the plane sharply downward based on a faulty sensor reading, hindering pilot control after takeoff, according to preliminary crash investigations.

[“source=khaleejtimes”]