US Joins Canada in Grounding 737 Max Aircraft

After Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau restricted commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace, President Donald J. Trump told reporters March 13 that the United States also is grounding the airplanes.

The United States joined Canada and numerous other countries in banning Boeing's 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from flying. President Donald J. Trump told reporters the aircraft would be grounded starting March 13 until the cause of the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash is determined. Trump said he had discussed the matter with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and FAA Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell and both agreed with the decision to ground the planes.

Hours earlier, Marc Garneau, Canada's minister of Transport, issued a safety notice that bars Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft from the country's airspace. In a statement, Garneau said, "My thoughts continue to go out to all those affected by the tragic aircraft accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue. This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft - from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace. This safety notice is effective immediately, and will remain in place until further notice."

He said the experts' advice was "based on the information they have been receiving; the requirements for new procedures and training for Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 flight crews they have already put in place; and the latest information available from the incidents.

"It is too soon to speculate about the cause of the accident in Addis Ababa, and to make direct links to the Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October 2018; however, my department has been closely monitoring the investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority," his statement continued. "Following the Lion Air accident, Transport Canada adopted the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Airworthiness Directive. It also required that Canadian airlines who operate the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft, put new procedures in place and implement additional crew training. We were one of the first countries to do so and not all countries have implemented this change. And these Canadian requirements for new procedures and training to protect against the risk identified went above and beyond the measures directed by the United States Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing – and above and beyond what other nations have done.

"Canada has an enviable aviation safety record because of the professionalism and safety-first focus of Canada's aviation industry – those who design and manufacture aircraft, those who maintain them, our airports, our air traffic controllers and of course those who operate and fly the aircraft," he said. "It also due to the world-class knowledge, expertise and relentless focus on safety by Transport Canada officials who are responsible for developing regulations and ensuring compliance with those regulations."

Garneau said Transport Canada is continuing to monitor the situation "and I will not hesitate to take swift action, should we discover any additional safety issues."

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