European Regulators Add Autopilot Issue to the List of Things Boeing Has to Fix

By Shabana Arif on at

Following the Boeing 737 crashes earlier this year and last year that saw all 737 Max jets grounded, European regulators have a list of issues the company has to sort out before the planes can resume service.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has reportedly requested that Boeing meet five requirements if it wants to get its planes back in the sky, the majority of which align with the US' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and includes poor training procedures, software issues, angle of attack sensors, and problems pilots have encountered with the manual trim wheel.

However, the EASA's fifth requirement highlights the failure of the autopilot to disengage at appropriate times during an emergency.

"Any of these [issues] could significantly affect the return to service, but we don’t know if they are actually going to become requirements or are they just items for discussion," said president of the aviation consulting company Safety Operating Systems, John Cox, a former 737 pilot.

The period of time for which the planes will be out of action has shot up from an estimated few weeks back in April, to up to three months, and that's just for the software fix. Boeing seems confident it can meet the new regulations and have the 737 back in action by September, although it should probably follow through on its plan to change the name. [Bloomberg]