Civil Aviation withholds approval for Boeing 737 to join local fleet

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The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Tuesday said it is monitoring investigations surrounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft which crashed and killed hundreds of people twice in six months.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Authority noted that there is no such aircraft among the fleet flying into Guyana.

“The Authority wishes to inform the flying and general public that no aircraft of this type presently operates into Guyana,” the GCAA said.

Probes into the aircraft series, designed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes, began after one of the airplanes owned by Ethiopian airlines crashed on March 10, 2019, killing all 157 aboard.

The GCAA acknowledged that one operator has submitted an application to add this type of aircraft to its fleet but “as an extra safety precaution, the Authority will withhold its approval until definitive causation of the accident is ascertained.”

Trinidadian carrier, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) had announced that it has purchased 12 of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to update its fleet. The airplanes are expected to begin arriving later this year, over a three-year period.

CAL in a statement on Monday said it will incorporate the procedural and training elements necessary to comply with all regulations and instructions before any new aircraft is introduced to its fleet.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash was the second such plane model involved in a catastrophic crash in the past six months- the first being a Lion Air flight – which crashed into the sea near Indonesia in October 2018 killing 189 persons onboard.

Following last October’s Lion Air crash in Indonesia, investigators said the pilots had appeared to struggle with an automated system designed to keep the plane from stalling, a new feature of the jet, the BBC reported.

While both investigations are ongoing, similarities between the incidents have prompted caution among some aviation authorities and airlines.

Thus far, the Boeing 737 Max aircraft was grounded by the European Union, Ethiopia, Singapore, China, India, Norway, France, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority extended its condolences to the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority of Ethiopia, and sympathy to the families and relatives of the passengers from the various countries who perished on the aircraft.

Given these unfortunate and regrettable occurrences, the GCAA said it will continue to monitor the reports emanating from the investigating team as they proceed with their investigation of these accidents.

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