Boeing 737 Max Planes Are Ready to Fly Again Following Deadly Crashes, European Aviation Safety Official Claims
"Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us."
The head of the European Union aviation regulator said he considers the Boeing 737 Max safe to fly once again, nineteen months after it was grounded following two fatal crashes, Bloomberg News reported.
Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), told the outlet that he considers the plane is safe to fly in European airspace after two test flights were conducted in September.
The EASA has not yet formally approved the plane to fly, but Ky told Bloomberg that he expects approval to come in around a month after administrative processes are complete.
The EASA grounded the 737 Max in March 2019 after the second of two crashes that resulted in a combined 346 deaths.
The first crash, a plane operated by Indonesia's Lion Air, saw a 737 Max crash into the sea after a malfunction forced it into a fatal nose dive, despite attempts by the pilots to correct it. All 189 people on board died.
Five months later, a similar error forced an Ethiopian Airlines plane to crash into the ground, killing the 157 people on board and prompting regulators around the world to ground the 737 Max.
Production was halted in early 2020 while the company addressed design flaws. The 737 Max crashes plunged Boeing into the deepest crisis of its history, leading to canceled orders, layoffs, and the departure of its CEO.
Approval from major regulators like the EASA to operate once more could give the company a chance to recover.
Ky told Bloomberg: "Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us."
He said that the agency would like for an extra sensor to be added to the plane to make it safer still in future.
The US regulator — the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) — is also preparing to declare its approval, Bloomberg said.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider.