The European Cockpit Association, which represents pilots at Max operators including Ryanair Holdings and Norwegian Air Shuttle, is unhappy with the expanding role of plane makers in licencing new models.
Thursday 23, May 2019
(Bloomberg) – The European Cockpit Association said that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) needs to take a stronger stance in vetting US plans to return Boeing’s grounded 737 Max to service.
Jon Horne, the President of European Cockpit Association, said that EASA must take steps to restore confidence among aircrew after signing off on the original Max design despite Boeing itself taking part in the certification process.
“We really would like some serious action and transparency to show how they are going to certify the return to service of this aircraft, it’s critical to regaining credibility among our community,” Horne said.
A return to service for the Max after two crashes in five months must come with new simulator training for pilots, including experience handling the aircraft without the so-called MCAS anti-stall function blamed for the tragedies, Horne said.
The ECA is also concerned that “Boeing is still talking about minimising the training in any fix-package,” he said.
The European Parliament’s transport committee last month asked EASA to explain how it will assess the airworthiness of a revised Max, urging the body to defend its watchdog status after the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) failed oversight of Boeing.
EASA has already said that it will undertake its own review. It did not immediately respond to messages seeking further comment.
The ECA’s concerns are not limited to the 737, with the lobby group calling for a review of Boeing’s new 777X, which like the Max is a re-engined version of an earlier model, but also features new wings.
Regulators must be clear that the US company is not making compromises to deliver on promised performance gains, Horne said.