Transport Canada is expected to begin the process of clearing the Boeing 737 MAX for an eventual return to revenue service in the coming weeks. Transport Canada has not publicly confirmed its intentions but Minister Marc Garneau told family members of victims of two fatal crashes involving the aircraft that lifting the grounding will happen soon. “They were very confident they would be un-grounding it,” Chris Moore, whose 24-year-old daughter Danielle died in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in March of 2019, told CBC News.
Moore said Garneau and other top TC officials did their best to assure the family members that the department’s review of the aircraft has been thorough. Without confirming a timeline for the MAX’s return, TC officials told the CBC that it is, indeed, a process and it’s unlikely any passengers will fly on a MAX until January at the earliest. In addition to reissuing the plane’s airworthiness certificate, there is pilot training to complete and the actual installation of the revised software that is at the heart of the plane’s restoration to service. The plane’s themselves also need a thorough going over. “That would also include a safety maintenance plan, given that these aircraft have been unused for 20 months,” said TC spokeswoman Amy Butcher. “A return to service plan is very complex and will take time before being completed.”