Canadian flight attendants have served notice to Transport Canada that they expect to be consulted before the Boeing 737 MAX is returned to service. The unions representing cabin crew members at Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing say they need assurance the aircraft is safe before they go back to work on it. “The safety of passengers and crew must always come first. The federal government’s decision to ground the Boeing 737 Max in Canada was the right thing to do,” the unions said in a joint statement. “Given the record of Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration in that file, it will now be up to Transport Canada to provide assurances that these aircraft are fully compliant and safe for our members and the travelling public.”
Boeing and the FAA have come under intense criticism for the certification process used to approve the MAX for revenue service. Much of the controversy has centred on the maneuvering characteristics augmentation system which was intended to autonomously adjust the “feel” of the MAX under certain flight conditions because the new aircraft has different aerodynamics in some flight profiles than previous 737s. The MCAS was subsequently implicated in two devastating crashes that killed 346 people in late 2018 and early 2019. Because of the concerns raised about the handling of the initial certification, Transport Canada has said it will independently review the software changes that Boeing is proposing to fix the flight control problems.