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Bermuda safety regulator clears Boeing 737 Max for takeoff

Back in the air: The Boeing 737 Max has been cleared to fly to Bermuda by the Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority. (File photograph by Reed Saxon/AP)

The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority said today it will allow flights of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Bermuda with the removal of the airspace ban and it will also permit the operation of the aircraft type on the Bermuda Aircraft Registry.

The changes come into effect today and follow similar decisions by US, British, European and Canadian authorities.

The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded last year following two fatal crashes. The BCAA said the UK and Bermuda were among the first to act, preventing the aircraft from using their airspace and suspending the Certificates of Airworthiness for the aircraft on their Registries.

Director general of BCAA, Thomas Dunstan, said: “The decision was made to revoke the suspensions to the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX, following approved safety modifications inclusive of the aircraft’s design, how it is flown and training required for pilots to fly it. One of the main safety features that has been modified is the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System.

“Detailed information from authorities in the UK, US, Canada and Europe has been analysed and reviewed by experts in our Airworthiness and Operations teams and deemed acceptable. Keeping Bermuda’s airspace and the general public safe is our main priority and we are committed to regulating all aspects of aviation in Bermuda to the highest standards.”

The statement said that all airlines are required to go through the necessary steps to return the aircraft to service, including pilot training, which may take some time. BCAA has confirmed with airlines operating the Boeing 737 Max to and from Bermuda have fully implemented respective directives issued by their state authorities.

Key safety changes aimed at preventing further accidents and allow a return to service include:

•Flight Control Computer (FCC) software changes, so that both of the aircraft’s Angle of Attack (AoA) sensor inputs are used by the aircraft systems (rather than previously just one);

•Safeguards against MCAS activating unnecessarily, due to a failed or erroneous AoA sensor;

•Removal of the MCAS repeat command;

•Revised limits on the MCAS command authority;

•Revisions to flight crew procedures and training requirements;

•Implementation of an AoA ‘disagree’ alert indication that would appear on the pilots’ primary flight displays;

•Cross FCC trim monitoring, to detect and shutdown erroneous pitch trim commands.

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Published February 01, 2021 at 9:25 am (Updated February 01, 2021 at 9:25 am)

Bermuda safety regulator clears Boeing 737 Max for takeoff

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