Boeing has said it’s resumed production of the 737 Max after previously suspending the plane’s production following two crashes that killed 346 people. The company says the 737 program started “building airplanes at a low rate” as it incorporates more than a dozen initiatives aimed at improving workplace safety and product quality.
Boeing and its best-selling 737 Max have had the worst couple of years in recent memory after technical glitches, rooting back to the plane’s development cycle, led to two crashes and an indefinite grounding period.
All of Boeing’s 737 Max planes were grounded worldwide in March 2019 following deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. Official reports for both crashes have largely blamed the aircraft’s design, specifically a flight control system unique to the Max series. Since the temporary production suspension starting in January, Boeing says it has fixed the problems and that mechanics and engineers have been working to “refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory.”
Although the plane still hasn’t received FAA’s permission to resume passenger service, likely delayed further due to the discovery of another, unrelated safety issue, Boeing recently announced that it had resumed production of the aircraft at its Renton factory, albeit at a low rate and under the implementation of more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality.
“During the temporary suspension of production that began in January, mechanics and engineers collaborated to refine and standardize work packages in each position of the factory. New kitting processes will also ensure that employees have everything they need at their fingertips to build the airplane,” noted the company’s official statement.
Boeing says the 737 program will gradually increase production this year. But because the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to schedule a certification flight, a necessary step before it can carry passengers again, Boeing has not yet said when the Max could return to service.