Source: Delta Air Lines
Federal Aviation Administrator Steve Dixon says he will not allow Boeing 737 Max aircraft to return to service skies until he personally flies the aircraft.
"I am the definitive US discharge authority and I will not get off the plane until I fly it myself," Dixon told NBC News during an interview in Las Vegas. NBC correspondent Tom Costello pressed Dickson, a former pilot, who has a 737 flight license if he actually piloted the plane on a short flight before officially approving Max for a commercial operation. "I'll fly to Max," said Dixon.
Dixon's comments come just before his visit to the facilities of Boeing outside Seattle, Washington Dixon will meet with executives telephones of Boeing and will be informed of updates to the flight control system software 737 Max. He will also get on a simulator and test the changes that Boeing engineers made to Max. Earlier this week, in his first interview after taking over the FAA, Dixon told CNBC, "I can guarantee you that the plane will not fly again until I am convinced that it is the safest thing to do."
Dixon's decision to fly Max before his give final approval for a commercial service is a new development. The formal process calls on Boeing to apply for re-certification after a test flight that includes one Boeing pilot and one FAA pilot.
During this re-certification flight, the crew will place the aircraft through a maneuver checklist to see how the aircraft handles these situations. After the flight, flight engineers from Boeing and the FAA will review the results. If these results meet the goals previously agreed by Boeing and the FAA, the company will apply for re-certification.
Since Dixon is not a test pilot, he will not be in the cockpit during the Max re-certification flight. When Dixon will fly the plane has not yet been determined.
"We will work to meet the requirements of the controller and continue to support global regulators as we work to safely return the aircraft to service," Chaz Bikers, spokesman for Boeing.
CNBC & # 39; s Meghan Reeder contributed to this report.