Who participated in the validation process?

World map highlighting participating countries for 737 validation

Numerous regulatory agencies and aviation organizations from around the world worked together to safely return the 737-8 and 737-9 to service. Engineers, scientists, researchers, mechanics, pilots and line pilots engaged in a thorough process that involved hundreds of thousands of hours and more than a thousand test and check flights.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the certificating authority for the airplane and has lifted the order suspending 737 operations for airlines that are under its jurisdiction, including those in the U.S. While the FAA’s processes do inform other civil aviation authorities, we continue to work with these regulators as they take their own actions to return the airplane to service for their air carriers.

Other agencies involved represent the regions/countries of:

  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • China
  • CIS
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Papua New-Guinea
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Other agencies involved represent multiple regions/countries around the world, including the United States, the European Union, Canada and Brazil.

View the full list

  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bermuda
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • China
  • CIS
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritania
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Papua New-Guinea
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Collapse the list

What did the process entail?

The FAA and other regulators determined the validation process, schedule and requirements. We held regular reviews with the FAA and worked closely with the other regulators at every step. The comprehensive process carefully reviewed every aspect of the airplane relevant to the grounding conditions and more:

    • Airplane software
    • Flight crew procedures
    • Required maintenance
    • Flight and maintenance training
    • Simulators
    • Minimum equipment list
    • Certification standards

The FAA conducted this evaluation jointly with three international civil aviation authorities: Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) Brazil, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The reviews often involved specialized teams of experts from across the world of aviation, including global regulators and representatives from NASA and the U.S. Air Force. These teams included:

Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB)
Members: FAA and international partners from Canada, Europe and Brazil
Responsibility: Evaluated and reported on pilot training needs

Technical Advisory Board (TAB)
Members: FAA, U.S. Air Force, NASA and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (part of the U.S. Department of Transportation)
Responsibility: Evaluated and reported on Boeing’s final design documentation

Flight Standardization Board (FSB)
Members: FAA operations inspectors, safety standards experts and technical advisers
Responsibility: Reviewed JOEB training recommendations and incorporated them into the revised FSB report

Joint Authorities Technical Review (JATR)
Members: Technical safety experts from nine civil aviation authorities worldwide, FAA and NASA
Responsibility: Evaluated and reported on the certification of the airplane

How was the validation process structured?

FAA actions are applicable only to airlines that are under its jurisdiction, including those in the U.S. While the FAA’s processes do inform other civil aviation authorities, each must take its own actions to return the airplane to service for its air carriers. The FAA, in cooperation with Boeing, will ensure that its international counterparts have all necessary information to make a timely, safety-focused decision.

Enhancements developed and tested (Boeing, regulators)
Software, design and training enhancements developed in close collaboration with regulators. Enhancements were rigorously tested, first in computer models and laboratories then in simulators and finally during test flights.

Certification flights completed (FAA, Transport Canada Civil Aviation, European Union Aviation Safety Agency)
Pilots tested the proposed changes to flight control systems during a wide array of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures.

Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Airworthiness Directive published online (FAA)
Public was invited to comment on a comprehensive description of the steps required for the return to service.

Flight crew training needs evaluated (FAA/JOEB)
Line pilots of various experience levels from U.S. and international carriers worked with the multinational JOEB to evaluate training needs. Findings reported to the FSB.

Draft FSB report published online (FAA/FSB)
Public was invited to comment on proposed new flight crew training requirements associated with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

Final FSB report published (FAA)
After reviewing and addressing all public comments, the final report was issued.

Final Boeing design documentation review (FAA/TAB)
Documentation was reviewed to evaluate compliance with all FAA regulations. The TAB also reviewed the final Boeing submission and issued a final report before the FAA made its final determination of compliance.

Airworthiness Directive (AD) and Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) published (FAA)
The FAA published the final AD and issued a CANIC that notified international regulators of the final AD. The AD advised all operators of required actions that must be completed before airplanes may resume commercial service.

Lift order suspending 737 operations (FAA)
The FAA has lifted the order for airlines that are under its jurisdiction, including those in the U.S.

Complete steps specified in AD (FAA, Boeing, Airlines)
Lifting the order allowed airlines in the FAA’s jurisdiction and Boeing to begin working on completing the steps below. Regulators in other jurisdictions will make their own determinations.
Training
•  Airlines must receive regulatory approval for their training programs.
•  Pilots must complete all required training.
Airplanes
•  Delivered Airplanes: Airlines must implement all required changes specified by the FAA on airplanes in their fleets and complete all activation tasks.
•  Undelivered Airplanes: The FAA will perform in-person, individual reviews of each undelivered airplane prior to issuing an airworthiness certificate.