The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has today lifted the order that halted commercial operations of Boeing 737-8s and 737-9s.

    The move allows carriers that are under the FAA’s jurisdiction to take the steps necessary to resume service and Boeing to begin making deliveries.

    David Calhoun, chief executive officer of the Boeing Company commented on the announcement: “We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations. These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity.”

    Boeing says it has worked closely with airlines in the past 20 months, providing them with detailed recommendations regarding long-term storage and ensuring their input was part of the effort to safely return the aircraft to service.

    An Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA spells out the requirements that must be met before US carriers can resume service. These include installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training and accomplishing thorough de-preservation activities that will ensure the airplanes are ready for service.

    “The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”

    Boeing says that, in addition to changes made to the airplane and pilot training, it has taken three important steps to strengthen its focus on safety and quality. These steps include:

    • Organisational alignment: more than 50,000 engineers have been brought together in a single organisation that includes a new product & services safety unit, unifying safety responsibilities across the company.
    • Cultural focus: engineers have been further empowered to improve safety and quality. The company is identifying, diagnosing and resolving issues with a higher level of transparency and immediacy.
    • Process enhancements: by adopting next-generation design processes, the company is enabling greater levels of first-time quality.