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“Mitigation measures attributable to COVID-19 have been established for validation activities, including flight tests to ensure the health and safety of Transport Canada employees,” said Sau Sau Liu, communications advisor at Transport Canada.
The agency’s multi-day test flights will be the first by an international regulator after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration subjected the Max to days of rigorous testing earlier this summer.
Travel restrictions have complicated Boeing’s efforts to work with domestic and foreign regulators to certify the Max to resume commercial service. The plane was grounded around the world in March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people.
Transport Canada employees will also be airlifted to Seattle to perform separate assessments on an engineering simulator operated by Boeing and then back to Vancouver. The agency is proceeding with the tests after completing its review of FAA flight data.
Boeing completed its first round of certification test flights, which were conducted with U.S. regulators, on July 1. Because the aircraft is built in the United States, the FAA takes the lead in certification of the aircraft.
After reviewing the flight results and Boeing’s detailed plan for the aircraft’s systems overhaul, the FAA announced on August 3 that it had provisionally approved the fixes. The public has had 45 days to comment on the proposed changes, which means the agency could approve the statement in the fall.
In addition to changes to the aircraft’s computer systems and wiring, the FAA and regulators in other countries are also reviewing revisions to pilot training programs for the aircraft.
The FAA “continues to examine the changes proposed by Boeing as part of the certification work in progress,” according to a statement from the US agency.