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Wed 1 Jul 2020 07:32 AM

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UAE approval of Boeing 737 Max likely to closely follow US regulator

The UAE's aviation regulator will conduct its own tests while working closely with the FAA on certification of the narrow-body model

UAE approval of Boeing 737 Max likely to closely follow US regulator

The UAE aviation authority and state-owned discount carrier Flydubai, the Max’s second-biggest customer, are being kept in the loop.

The United Arab Emirates is expected to approve the return of Boeing Co.’s 737 Max soon after the US Federal Aviation Administration lifts the aircraft’s 15-month grounding, according to an official of the Gulf state.

The UAE’s aviation regulator will conduct its own tests while working closely with the FAA on certification of the narrow-body model, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Requirements for the plane, which was idled after two fatal crashes, are mostly similar in the two jurisdictions, the official said.

Coordination with global regulators would provide a boost to the Max, allowing Boeing to return its top-seller to service in major markets in a more uniform way. The planemaker and the FAA began a series of long-awaited flights this week to test whether the revamped aircraft is safe to resume operations.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency is looking to schedule its own test flights in the summer, a spokeswoman said in an email. The regulator said it was working in close cooperation with the FAA and will discuss the outcome of this week’s test flights in coming weeks.

“The current schedule would indicate that the Max could receive FAA certification around mid-September, with EASA expected to certify the aircraft a week or two following FAA approval,” analysts including Sheila Kahyaoglu at Jefferies said in a note Tuesday.

The certification flights mark a milestone toward ending the grounding imposed worldwide in March 2019, after the crashes that killed 346 people.

The UAE aviation authority and state-owned discount carrier Flydubai, the Max’s second-biggest customer, are being kept in the loop, according to the official.

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