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safety issues when an aircraft is being designed
        and assembled, especially caused outrage.
        Boeing is among the 79 companies that have
        been approved under the ODA program to let
        their employees work, while still being on their
        payroll, as FAA designees to assess safety.
        Amidst reports that the FAA intends to cede
        further control of aviation safety to the industry,
        lawmakers say they want to end the practice of
        the regulatory agency outsourcing certification
        tasks to manufacturers. American consumer
        advocate  Ralph  Nader,  whose  grandniece
        was killed in the Ethiopian Air crash, however,
        doesn’t think FAA is likely to mend its ways,
        given Boeing’s clout in the industry. “The FAA
        has been in the pockets of the Boeing company
        for years,” he says.
           Although controversial, the self-inspection
        program, which was created in 2005, has been
        largely effective and has, according to Boeing,
        led to the “safest transportation system in the
        world.” The numbers support the point of view -
        commercial aviation in the US had had a stellar
        safety record over the last decade, with just
        one passenger death since 2009. According
        to supporters of the ODA, the program, reau-
        thorized in 2018, helps fill a gap; the FAA would
        need US$1.8 billion to hire an additional 10,000
        inspectors otherwise. Among the detractors is
        the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, a
        union representing FAA inspectors, which has
        been vocal in opposing the expansion of the
        ODA system.

        Rift Out in the Open
        By international agreement, planes are certified
        in the country where they are built, and the deci-  be looking at validating the work of the FAA and Boeing prior to
        sion is rarely, if ever, questioned by regulatory  us issuing our own validation approval,” said Nicholas Robinson,
        bodies in other parts of the world. The crashes,  Transport Canada’s director general of civil aviation. The Civil
        however, has resulted in a rift between regu-  Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), which has set up a task
        latory agencies, with the FAA on one side and  force to review design changes to the aircraft, says it would make
        rest on the other. Industry experts believe that  sure that every 737 MAX undergoes the necessary design changes
        it is likely that the international regulators will  and every pilot receives the necessary training before the fleet
        not concurrently approve the airplane’s return  returns to service. Indonesia is likely to ask EASA or Transport
        to service; the jet is likely to resume flights in a  Canada for a second opinion, according to Polana Pramesti, the
        patchwork fashion, with FAA being the first to  country’s director-general for air transport.
        give the green signal.                         Once the airplane is approved for reentry into service, operators
           The European Union Aviation Safety Agency  will have to follow a few procedures, including installation of the
        (EASA) has insisted on its own review of the  new software and implementation of new pilot training. It would
        design changes made to the aircraft before  also have to run a series of maintenance checks on the jets that
        approving its return to service.  Flight trials by  have been idle for months. The process, according to some, could
        European test pilots have been scheduled for  take more than a month.
        mid-December. If the trials go smoothly, a deci-
        sion on clearing the 737 Max is likely in January.  Uneasy Road Ahead
        Transport Canada has made it clear that it will  Max 737 operators, who have had to cancel thousands of flights
        do its own independent validation of the pro-  since the aircraft was grounded, are aware that passengers would
        posed changes to the troubled jet.  “We have  hesitate to fly on a 737 Max plane even when it is certified safe to
        our own list of requirements that we sent to  fly and reintroduced into service. According to a survey earlier this
        the FAA at the onset of this, of areas we will  year, about 41% of Americans said the plane would need to safely

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