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China’s aviation regulator questions safety of Boeing 737 MAX design changes

China’s aviation regulator questions safety of Boeing 737 MAX design changes
There are “important concerns” over the reliability and security of Boeing’s design changes to the grounded 737 MAX plane, the Chinese aviation watchdog said on Thursday.

Liu Lusong, a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), told reporters that Beijing is reviewing the airworthiness of the plane based on proposed changes to software and flight control systems.

The plane needs to be recertified to resume flights in China, he said. The spokesperson added that pilots needed comprehensive and effective training to restore confidence in the model while the causes of the two crashes that killed 346 people needed to be investigated with effective measures put in place to prevent another incident.

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China was the first country to ground the troubled 737 after a second deadly crash in Ethiopia in March, and set up a task force to review design changes submitted by Boeing.

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson said on Wednesday that aviation regulators are unlikely to clear 737 MAX airplanes for flight until 2020.

There is no clear timeline for when the plane will be recertified and there are 10 to 11 milestones left to complete before it can be approved, he said.

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