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FAA Requests More Changes to Boeing Software



Boeing officials revealed they are unsure if software changes requested by government regulators for the grounded 737 MAX fleet will further delay the return of the planes.

According to the Seattle Times, Boeing released a statement saying it was in the final stages of the necessary software upgrades to its 737 MAX aircraft, but the Federal Aviation Administration has not completed its audit of the second flight-control computer used on each plane.

One of the issues raised by FAA regulators is that Boeing presented the MCAS documentation in a similar format as it had been in the past, but officials wanted it in a different form. The plane manufacturer is currently airlines/boeing-reportedly-working-on-1-billion-pilot-development-program.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>making the necessary changes.

The issues center around the MCAS flight-control system on the MAX fleet, which has been blamed for the two crashes that left 346 people dead. Despite the requested changes, Boeing is still looking for FAA approval by the end of 2019.

While Boeing continues to work on software alterations, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker recently said he believes the 737 MAX “is going to get certified sometime in the near future.”

Parker said that when the grounded plane is cleared to fly, American “will be ready.” airlines/american-airlines-flight-attendants-confront-boeing.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>The airline is already selling flights on five of its MAX aircraft as early as January 15.

Boeing may already be reworking its software for FAA regulators, but the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said Monday it believes the grounded MAX fleet will return to service during the first quarter of 2020.

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IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023



Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.

Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.

IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.

The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.

In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.

Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”

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