Boeing has announced that it supports the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.

Given the growing safety concerns and the increasing incidents of suspension of the 737 Max 8 aircraft, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement saying that it anticipates mandating the design changes by an airworthiness directive (AD) by next month.

The regulator listed a series of measures being undertaken by Boeing under its supervision to improve the safety of the aircraft.

The FAA stated that it will wait for the outcome of the Ethiopia flight crash investigation currently in progress before taking any action.

In a statement, the FAA revealed that it is supervising ‘Boeing’s completion of the flight control system enhancements, which provide reduced reliance on procedures associated with required pilot memory items’.

“Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes and it always will be.”

On 10 March, a Nairobi-bound Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 flight suffered a fatal crash within minutes of takeoff, killing all 157 people on board.

The accident comes after a 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by Indonesian airline Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea last October. The Lion Air flight crash resulted in the deaths of all 189 passengers.

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Boeing president, CEO, chairman Dennis Muilenburg said: “On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents.

“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

Boeing stated that it has been working on developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX to increase its safety since the Lion Air Flight 610 accident.

It expects to soon complete a software upgrade to the 737 Max 8 aircraft in the wake of increased scrutiny over its safety.

According to the company, the enhancements to the aircraft include updates to the manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training.