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NPRM Due Soon on 737 Max

The Federal Aviation Administration is getting close to issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding an airworthiness directive (AD) for the Boeing 737 Max.  When issued, the NPRM will provide 45 days for public comment on the planned design changes and crew procedures developed to satisfy safety concerns identified during investigations in the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes.

In addition, final planning is underway for the FAA’s Flight Standardization Board (FSB) and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) review of proposed training for flight crews, based on the design change and crew procedures. An updated FSB report will include the results of the evaluation and will allow for public comment. The JOEB will include regulators from Canada, Europe, and Brazil and will evaluate minimum pilot training requirements. The FAA said that the FSB will issue a draft report for public comment that addresses the findings of the JOEB.

The FAA will also review Boeing’s final design documentation to evaluate compliance with all Agency regulations.  A multi-agency Technical Advisory Board will also review Boeing's submission and issue a final report before a determination of compliance by the FAA.

Once these reviews are complete, the FAA plans to issue a Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC), which will provide notice of pending "significant" safety actions and will publish a final AD that addresses the known issues for grounding. The AD will advise operators of required corrective actions before the 737 Max aircraft may re-enter commercial service. Only then will the FAA rescind its grounding order.