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FAA meets with international regulators over Boeing 737 Max

AP  |  Fort Worth 

Representatives from more 30 countries met with Federal Administration officials Thursday to hear the US regulator's approach to determining how soon the 737 Max can resume flying after two crashes that killed 346 people.

Before the meeting, acting FAA declined to give a timetable for the plane's return. He hinted it could be several months, saying that even October a later return than airlines expected might not be realistic.

The meeting is crucial to the US agency's hopes of convincing other regulators around the world to lift their bans on the plane soon after the FAA does.

Among those scheduled to attend were regulators from China, and Canada, as well as officials from and Ethiopia, sites of the two crashes that occurred before the Max was grounded worldwide in March.

is fixing flight-control software that in each accident pushed the plane's nose down based on faulty from a single sensor. It will tie the system to more than one sensor and make it less powerful pilots for and were unable to counter the system's automatic nose-down pitch.

Elwell has said he hopes other regulators will lift their bans on the plane soon after FAA does.

However, regulators in China, the and have said they plan to conduct their own reviews of Boeing's and the need for additional pilot training.

The FAA did not allow reporters to attend or watch the meeting, and it kept them away from international officials who attended the all-day session at a gated FAA office in Fort Worth,

It is unclear whether the event will do much to convince travelers that the Max is safe.

said that its survey this month of 1,765 travellers in and found that nearly half plan to avoid flying on the Max for a year or longer. About half said they would pick a non-Max flight if given the choice.

Airlines are making plans for a campaign to reassure nervous customers. They know it won't be easy.

told that because of all the coverage of the crashes and their aftermath, no amount of marketing will sway worried passengers.

"There may be some period of time" before customers are comfortable flying on the plane, Parker said, "but we will work through that." He suggested that if passengers see US pilots getting on board, they will follow.

said this week that he will be on the carrier's next Max flight. He added, however, that United would let passengers who don't want to fly on the plane rebook without the customary ticket-change fee.

The Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit group based in the suburbs, is urging regulators to coordinate recertification of the Max. The group's CEO, Hassan Shahidi, said that would lift public confidence and be less disruptive than a fragmented, country-by-country return of the plane.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 03:36 IST