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Boeing 737 Max to be cleared to fly in Europe

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The head of Europe’s aviation safety agency, EASA, has said Boeing’s 737 Max plane will get final clearance to resume flying in Europe next week.

The agency suspended all flights of the plane in March 2019, after two fatal crashes that have been attributed to flawed flight control software.

A total of 346 people died in the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The modified plane has already been cleared for the resumption of flights in the US and Brazil.

EASA executive director Patrick Ky said a separate certification of the Max-200 variant was likely to follow in “coming weeks”, allowing flights to resume before summer.

The plane’s first accident occurred in October 2018, when a Lion Air jet came down in the sea off Indonesia.

The second involved an Ethiopian Airlines version that crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, just four months later.

Both have been attributed to flight control software that became active at the wrong time and prompted the aircraft to go into a catastrophic dive.

Since the Ethiopian crash, EASA has been carrying out a root-and-branch review of the 737 Max’s design, independently from a similar process undertaken by the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In order to return to service, existing planes will now have to be equipped with new computer software, as well as undergoing changes to their wiring and cockpit instrumentation.

Pilots will need to undergo mandatory training, while each plane will have to undergo a test flight to ensure the changes have been carried out correctly.

US regulators have set out similar conditions.

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