Canada re-examining Boeing 737 MAX approval after FAA certification probe

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FILE PHOTO: An Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is seen on the ground at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Transport Canada is re-examining the validation it gave Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets, following reports of a U.S. probe into the aircraft’s certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Monday.

Garneau told reporters in Ottawa that Transport Canada might not take any action but he thinks it would be wise to re-examine the validation of the 737 MAX 8 jet, which has been grounded worldwide for safety concerns following the recent crash of an Ethiopian plane of that model, which killed 157 people.

The disaster followed a Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October involving the same model plane.

Canada accepted the FAA’s March 2017 certification of the MAX under a deal where such approvals by the United States are accepted by Canada and vice versa.

“We may not change anything but we’ve decided it’s a good idea for us to review the validation of the type certificate that was given for the MAX 8,” he said.

Citing people familiar with the inquiry, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that U.S. Department of Transportation officials were scrutinizing the FAA approval of MAX jets and that a grand jury in Washington subpoenaed at least one person involved in developing the MAX.

In addition, the Seattle Times reported that Boeing’s safety analysis of a new flight control system on MAX jets, known as MCAS, had several crucial flaws, including understating the power of the system.

Garneau said Transport Canada would do its own certification of a software change being prepared by Boeing within the next few weeks “even if it’s certified by the FAA.”

Reporting By David Ljunggren in Ottawa. Writing by Allison Lampert in Montreal; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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