The Boeing Company says it has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX for the past several months.
According to the company, this has been in the works since the loss of Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia on October 29, 2018.
Boeing says that safety is a core value at the company, and the 737 MAX “is a safe airplane that was designed, built and supported by our skilled employees who approach their work with the utmost integrity.”
The new enhancement is allegedly designed to make the aircraft even safer.
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“This includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The enhanced flight control law incorporates angle of attack (AOA) inputs, limits stabilizer trim commands in response to an erroneous angle of attack reading, and provides a limit to the stabilizer command in order to retain elevator authority,” states Boeing.
The company also says it has been working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on development, planning and certification of the software enhancement, and it will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks.
And the FAA says it anticipates mandating this software enhancement with an Airworthiness Directive (AD) no later than April.
“We have worked with the FAA in development of this software enhancement,” reads a Boeing statement. “It is important to note that the FAA is not mandating any further action at this time.”
Following its software enhancement update, Boeing expressed condolences to those who lost loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed on March 10. The flight was also on a Boeing 737 MAX, and 18 Canadians died in the crash.
“A Boeing technical team is at the crash site to provide technical assistance under the direction of the Ethiopia Accident Investigation Bureau and US National Transportation Safety Board. It is still early in the investigation, as we seek to understand the cause of the accident,” it says.
Despite the two fatal crashes over the past five months, Canadian airlines will not be grounding their Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleets.
In Canada, the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register shows airlines here have 41 of the Boeing 737 model.
Of those, 24 belong to Air Canada, 13 to WestJet, and four to Sunwing. The airlines say they are confident in the safety of the fleet.