China’s aviation regulator said Monday that its main safety concerns with the Boeing 737 MAX had to be “duly addressed” before flight testing, and that it was studying a plan with the U.S. manufacturer to authorize the aircraft to fly again.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) conducted a thorough and in-depth technical scrutiny of the 737 MAX, the agency’s deputy director Dong Zhiyi said, giving the regulator’s stance on the aircraft that China grounded in early 2019, Reuters reviewed.
“We will conduct flight tests in a planned, step-by-step manner once our major safety concerns are adequately addressed,” Dong said, adding that cooperation between the FAA and Boeing had been positive.
See also: Smartwings resumed flights with 737 MAX.
China was the first country to ground the 737 MAX in March 2019 after two fatal crashes. The Asian giant accounts for about a quarter of MAX sales.
The CAAC has outlined three principles for returning the aircraft to service, including certified design changes, proper pilot training and specific accident findings.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lifted the plane’s flight ban in November. It was followed by the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), among others.