US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Steve Dickson has completed the new recommended pilot training for the grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 

Dickson conducted the flight with FAA Deputy Administrator Dan Elwell. 

During the two-hour flight, several situations were implemented to evaluate the automated flight control system’s proposed software and design changes. 

Dickson said: “I want to make it clear that my flight was separate from the official certification process that’s still underway by the FAA. 

“As you know, we posted a notice of proposed rulemaking for an airworthiness directive that would address various safety issues that we and our international partners identified during the last several months.  

“The comment period on that NPRM closed on 21 September, and we are now reviewing and responding to those comments before posting a final rule. 

“We expect to take the input from the JOEB and include that in a Draft Flight Standardization Board report, which should be posted for comment in the near future.” 

Boeing temporarily grounded the 737 MAX has been grounded since March 2019 after two fatal crashes killed 346 people. 

In June, Dickson confirmed that Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will return only after ‘a comprehensive and rigorous review process

Dickson added: “The FAA — I — will not approve the plane for the return to passenger service until I’m satisfied that we’ve adequately addressed all of the known safety issues that played a role in the tragic loss of 346 lives aboard Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.” 

Recently, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) reportedly expected the grounded Boeing 737 MAX to secure regulatory approval to resume flights in November

Last week, major pilots’ unions, including Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Allied Pilots Association, reportedly urged the FAA to improve cockpit procedures for Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft.