Workers stand under the wing of a Boeing 737 MAX airplane at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images
The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that Boeing is expected to submit its proposals for new fixes to the MCAS software system for the grounded 737 MAX "over the coming weeks," emphasizing that more time is needed "for additional work" to ensure that Boeing "has identified and appropriately addressed all pertinent issues."
"Upon receipt, the FAA will subject Boeing’s completed submission to a rigorous safety review. The FAA will not approve the software for installation until the agency is satisfied with the submission."
Catch up quick: The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) is an automated system Boeing installed to prevent the aircraft from stalling (losing lift) by pushing the plane's nose down in particular circumstances. A malfunction with this system, where it appeared to activate based on faulty readings from a flight sensor, is the suspected cause of two similar crashes of Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia last month.
- Boeing was expected to send the software updates and new plans for pilot training to the FAA for review by the end of last week.
Our thought bubble, per Axios' Andrew Freedman: The FAA's statement contrasts with early assessments from Boeing that a software fix would soon be available to prevent the MCAS system from kicking in repeatedly based on erroneous data. It makes clear that the parked Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are unlikely to be flying again anytime soon.