Singapore will fly Boeing 737 Max planes when it is safe: Dr. Janil, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Singapore will fly Boeing 737 Max planes when it is safe: Dr. Janil

This article is more than 12 months old

Singapore will continue to suspend Boeing 737 Max flights until the authorities are fully satisfied that all safety concerns have been adequately addressed, but other Boeing jets can operate as usual, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament yesterday.

Responding to Ms Cheng Li Hui (Tampines GRC), Dr Janil said: "CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) will only lift the suspension when it is fully satisfied that all safety concerns relating to the aircraft type have been adequately addressed. During the suspension, CAAS will not allow airlines to register new Boeing 737 Max aircraft."


Singapore Airlines' (SIA) regional arm, SilkAir, has six B-737 Max planes in its fleet. Due to the suspension, the airline has had to cancel or adjust some flights, affecting about 300 passengers a day, he said.

These passengers have been offered either refunds or the option to be rebooked on other flights.

If the suspension continues, more flights may be cancelled, Dr Janil said.

Four foreign airlines were also operating the B-737 Max aircraft to Singapore.

As they have limited services to Singapore, they have been able to maintain normal operations using other aircraft types, except Shandong Airlines, which has had to suspend its operations to Singapore.

Even as investigations into what caused the Ethiopian Airlines crash are ongoing, Boeing has decided to introduce a design change to the aircraft's Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, as soon as it gets the go-ahead from the US Federal Aviation Administration and other leading aviation regulators.

Dr Janil said: "CAAS is closely monitoring this and will ensure that SilkAir incorporates the fix once it is available."

The MCAS is designed to prevent the aircraft from entering into a stall, or losing lift. A system malfunction that the pilots were unable to overcome is believed to have caused both the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air accidents.