The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is promising to share information about its efforts to ensure that proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX meet certification standards.

The aircraft was taken out of service since the March 13, the second of two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. 

The FAA had certified the 737 MAX as safe. According to a story in the New York Times, the FAA largely handed control of the certification process to the manufacturer, Boeing – in part because FAA engineers were unfamiliar with the automated system that was ultimately identified as the cause of the incidents.

Prior to the 737 MAX crashes, the FAA’s certification process was highly regarded by its global aviation partners.

In a meeting this week with technical experts and safety regulators from around the world, Ali Bahrami, the FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, provided details on the agency’s continuing efforts to return the Boeing 737 MAX jetliner to service. 

A senior Boeing Co. executive provided a technical briefing on the company’s efforts to address the safety regulators’ shared concerns. 

Administrator Steve Dickson told the group that the last few months have made it clear that, in the mind of the traveling public, aviation safety recognizes no borders. “Travelers demand the same high level of safety no matter where they fly,” he said. “It is up to us as aviation regulators to deliver on this shared responsibility.” 

The FAA said it is following “a thorough process” - not a prescribed timeline, for returning the aircraft to passenger service.

Each government will make its own decision to return the aircraft to service, based on a thorough safety assessment.