The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX airliners after it said it had new evidence and refined satellite data about the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 on March 10.
Dan Elwell, the FAA’s acting administrator commented: “It became clear to all parties that the track of the Ethiopian Airlines [crash aircraft] was very close and behaved very similarly to the Lion Air flight.” He added that “the evidence we found on the ground made it even more likely the flight path was very close to Lion Air’s [crash in October].” US President Donald Trump had earlier announced that the FAA would be taking this action due to “new information and physical evidence that we’ve received from the site and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints”.
The full statement from Boeing read:
“Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. However, after consultation with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined – out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety – to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.
“On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, Chairman of The Boeing Company.
“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.