March 15, 2019

PNG bans Boeing 737-8 MAX in its airspace

As a precautionary measure, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of PNG has prohibited the operation of Boeing 737-8 ‘MAX’ and Boeing 737-9 ‘Max’ in the Port Moresby Flight Information Region.

Effective March 14th, the director of civil aviation, in the exercise of his powers under section 17 of the Civil Aviation Act 2002 (as amended), directs operators of any Boeing 737-8 ‘MAX’ and Boeing 737-9 ‘Max’, which are registered in a third country, not to conduct any flights in PNG airspace.

“This safety and operational directive is made in the interest of safety of operation and to protect the public following the accident of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing model 737-8 ‘MAX’ aircraft on March 10th,” stated CASA.

“External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, involving the same type of aircraft.”

The suspension will be in place until appropriate safeguards are implemented.

It has been reported that 157 people perished in the crash on Sunday not far from the Addis Abba airport while five months ago, 189 people on board the Lion Air jet were killed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.

Singapore, Japan and the US are some of the countries that have also banned the Boeing models.

Norwegian Air is contemplating compensation from Boeing for costs and lost revenue after grounding its 737 Max fleet while The Guardian reported that Garuda Indonesia said it may cancel its order for 20 of the aircraft.

Air Niugini, on the other hand, will be taking the first delivery of two Boeing 737 Max aircraft in the third quarter of 2020 and the remaining two in 2021.

PNG’s Director of Civil Aviation, Wilson Sagati, said Boeing has been in touch with Air Niugini after both the Lion Air and recent Ethiopian Airlines accident.

“Air Niugini is aware that the investigation is still underway; however they advise that Boeing has assured them that any technical or operational anomalies that are uncovered in the investigation will all be resolved well and truly before the delivery of the aircraft,” Sagati stated.
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