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Dec. 21, 2020, 3:48 p.m. EST

The 737 Max is set to fly in Europe again, as Congress cracks down on Boeing and the FAA

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By Jack Denton

The Boeing 737 Max is set to fly again in Europe within the month, after the head of the European Union’s aviation regulator said he was “certain” the troubled plane was safe to fly.

The plane, which was grounded in March 2019 after two tragic accidents within five months caused 346 deaths, was cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, in the U.S. in November.

Patrick Ky, the executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, told the BBC that the regulator’s in-depth investigation went beyond the defective flight-control software that caused the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes and into the aircraft’s fundamental design. 

According to Ky, the EASA is set to clear the 737 Max in Europe in mid-January.

An extensive Senate report released on Friday said that Boeing /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA -0.67% “inappropriately coached” test pilots during attempts to recertify the troubled plane after the two deadly crashes last year. Senate investigators also accused the FAA of “attempting to cover up important information.”

Congressional lawmakers are in the final stages of a bipartisan push for new regulation of the FAA this year, according to reports . Reform of the civil-aviation regulator, apparently to be included in the landmark stimulus package, is said to focus on how it approves new commercial aircraft.

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