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FAA administrator tells team to 'take whatever time needed' on 737 MAX - memo

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By Reuters
FAA administrator tells team to 'take whatever time needed' on 737 MAX - memo
FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX aircraft at Boeing facilities at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson   -   Copyright  Lindsey Wasson(Reuters)

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Aviation Administrator Steve Dickson told his team to “take whatever time is needed” in their review of Boeing Co’s <BA.N> 737 MAX, reiterating that the path to approval is “not guided by a calendar or schedule,” according to a Nov. 14 memo reviewed by Reuters.

The memo was sent to Ali Bahrami, a top FAA safety official, and follows a statement by Boeing on Monday saying that the FAA could approve in December fixes to software that played a role in two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX.

In a video posted on YouTube on Friday, Dickson said: “I am not gonna sign off on this aircraft until I fly it myself and I am satisfied that I would put my own family on it without a second thought.”

The 737 MAX has been grounded worldwide since March.

Addressing FAA employees, Dickson said “the only driving force is safety. As I’ve said to all of you, I support what you are doing to scrutinize this aircraft very carefully. And I’ll support the time that you need to conduct a thorough, deliberate process for a safe return to service.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Steve Orlofsky)