ANAC approves return of operations with Boeing 737 -8 MAX aircraft in Brazil
The Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) concluded on Wednesday (25/11), a long independent work to reauthorize the operation of the aircraft model Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil. With a process of approximately two years, the validation of the modifications of the project was made by ANAC after the approval of the certifying authority, the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
ANAC withdrew the Emergency Airworthiness Directive that had restricted the operation of MAX in Brazil after agreeing with FAA evaluation for all necessary technical and regulatory elements that were carried out to address the safety issues. The FAA Directive of Airworthiness, released on 20/11, was adopted also by ANAC, it has automatic force in Brazil and should be fulfilled immediately by airline operators that wish to operate the model. Currently, only GOL Linhas Aéreas has Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft in its Brazilian fleet.
The approval of the new Boeing 737-8 MAX project brought together the four aviation authorities that compose the Certification Management Team (CMT) forum: the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) , the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) and the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) , which jointly discussed with the FAA what would be the requirements for the operational return of the aircraft model.
New project and next steps
Among the design requirements, there is the determination to the reconfiguration of the flight control system of this aircraft model, the routing correction of the cable group, review of procedures incorporated in the flight manual and tests of sensors recalibration. Additionally, the pilot training program was also revised.
Technically, the return of operations is permitted with the revocation of the Emergency Airworthiness Directive (Diretriz de Aeronavegabilidade de Emergência - DAE), No. 2019-03-01, which had prohibited the commercial operation of this aircraft model in the country – and also with the proof of compliance with the requirements of training for crew and design for airplanes. The DAE was also revoked this Wednesday (11/25) and GOL Linhas Aéreas continues to implement, under supervision, the necessary requirements to safely return the operations of Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft.
ANAC participation in the validation process
Since April 2019, when Boeing started activities to recertify the proposed modifications, ANAC has been dedicating efforts to the safe return of Boeing 737-8 MAX operations in Brazil. Altogether, about twenty professionals of the Agency, among engineers of diverse specialties and pilots (including of flight test), participated in this process. Emphasizing the importance of coordination between the CMT authorities for the development of this recertification activity, the ANAC Superintendent of Airworthiness, Roberto Honorato, said that " this thorough evaluation of the flight control system is an unprecedented milestone in the history of aviation”. In addition, “the revised modifications and procedures provided offer total confidence for the resumption of operations of the Boeing 737-8 MAX in Brazil,” says Honorato.
The implementation of other improvements, not requested for the return of Boeing 737-8 MAX operations, remain in progress in order to continue enhancing the use of the aircraft model and its features.