FAA Announces Plan for Grounded Boeing Planes to Return to Sky

January 25, 2024

… let me be clear: This won’t be back to business as usual for Boeing.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Mike Whitaker said on Wednesday. The FAA has halted all production of Boeing 737 Max airplanes while also creating a path for 737 Max 9 airplanes to be ungrounded once they pass inspection.

Why It Matters: The FAA grounded 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes earlier this month after a mid-air accident when a panel ripped away from the airplane. Following the incident, the grounding of planes – the majority of which are operated by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines – caused hundreds of flight cancellations per day. The announcement made by the FAA on Wednesday marks a shift towards airlines resuming a normal schedule while providing an enhanced maintenance and inspection process for the grounded 737 Max 9 airplanes so they can resume service. Meanwhile, further production of the aircraft will be halted as the FAA continues its investigation into Boeing.

Alaska Airlines plans to have its first Max 9 airplanes up and running on Friday with inspections wrapping up next week. United said they could have their Max 9 airplanes flying starting on Sunday.

Read More:

FAA approves a path for Boeing 737 Max 9s to return to operations (CNN)

FAA halts Boeing 737 Max production expansion, but clears path to return Max 9 to service (CNBC)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas