737 Max Report Calls for Overhaul of Canada’s Approval Process for New Planes

A new report from the federal government says that Transport Canada needs more strict procedures for vetting new aircraft, and less reliance on the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, in the aftermath of the Boeing 737 Max disasters. The report from the House of Commons Transport Committee followed hearings in 2020 about the Canadian government’s role in clearing the 737 Maxes to fly. Two Boeing 737 Maxes crashed in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 people, including 18 Canadians. Under international agreements, Canadian regulators didn’t certify the new 737 Max themselves, but relied on data from the FAA, which Transport Canada verified. However, investigations in the United States found that Boeing withheld crucial information from the FAA about the plane’s design, including the faulty software that caused the crashes, meaning that other regulators were also misled. The 737 Max crashes have “stimulated reflection in Canada regarding the foreign aircraft validation process; specifically the level of involvement of [Transport Canada] in the process,” the committee says in the report’s conclusion. “Recognizing that the safety of passengers and crews must always be the first priority, witnesses [at the hearings] believe that the aircraft certification and validation process in Canada needs to be even more robust.”

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