China’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it has not yet set a date for the Boeing 737 Max to fly back into the country, despite its US counterpart giving the green light to the plane’s operation.
China, with a fleet of 97 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, grounded the planes on March 11, 2019, becoming the first country to do so after the accidents, reported China Daily.
FAA approval only covers flights within the U.S. Flights to or within other countries, such as China and Canada, will need approval from their civil aviation regulators.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration said there has been no change in its position from late October, when Feng Zhenglin, director of the administration, said at a press conference that China will ensure that safe and reliable modifications have been made before considering allowing planes to return to the country’s airspace.
Before that, he said, three conditions must be met: Updated designs must pass the airworthiness inspection; pilots must receive adequate training for them; and the cause of accidents must be clear and the modifications made must be shown to be effective.
Engineer Shu Ping, director of the Aviation Safety Institute of the Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology, indicated that the U.S. approval is a basis for discussion about the possibility of China allowing the plane to return to carry passengers.
Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the 737 Max will remain on the ground until several requirements are met.