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Canadian official's email saying 737 MAX software must go reflects 'working-level' view - regulator

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By Reuters
Canadian official's email saying 737 MAX software must go reflects 'working-level' view - regulator
FILE PHOTO: Aerial photos showing Boeing 737 Max airplanes parked at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Gary He   -   Copyright  Gary He(Reuters)

By Allison Lampert and David Shepardson

MONTREAL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An email sent by an official at Transport Canada urging Boeing <BA.N> to remove an anti-stall system involved in two 737 MAX crashes reflects “working-level discussions” and were not reviewed by the Canadian regulator, the agency said on Friday.

The New York Times reported that an engineering manager in aircraft integration and safety assessment at Transport Canada emailed international regulators on Tuesday saying: “The only way I see moving forward at this point” is that Boeing’s MCAS system “has to go.”

The email was sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency, the New York Times said.

A person briefed on the matter confirmed the content of the email, but Reuters had not viewed a copy.

The anti-stall MCAS system has been tied to MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that together killed 346 people. The MAX has been grounded since March.

“The email reflects working-level discussions between highly trained aircraft certification experts of key aviation authorities who have been given wide latitude for assessing all issues and looking at all alternatives for the safe return to service of the aircraft,” Transport Canada said in a statement.

“The views are at the working level and have not been subject to systematic review by Transport Canada.”

The FAA said in a statement that its international partners have “engaged in robust discussions at various stages in this process as part of the thorough scrutiny of Boeing’s work. This email is an example of those exchanges.”

Boeing is working to win regulatory approvals for proposed fixes to MCAS and associated pilot training Boeing as part of its efforts to win approval for the 737 Max to fly again.

In a statement, Boeing said on Friday it “continues to work with the FAA and global regulators to provide them the information they are requesting to certify the MAX for safe return to service.”

(Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)