Civil Aviation Authority to permit Boeing 737 Max to again fly over NZ

Civil Aviation Authority to permit Boeing 737 Max to again fly over NZ
Photo credit: Fiji Airways.

The airline watchdog has given permission for the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max aircraft to take to the skies again over New Zealand.

Crashes involving the aircraft in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said after a comprehensive safety review it has granted Fiji Airways approval to resume flights to New Zealand using two of its five Max 8 aircraft.

The remaining three are still being checked.

The authority said only Fiji Airways uses the aircraft in New Zealand at this stage.

Permission for the craft to fly here was pulled two years ago.

The authority said aviation regulators around the world put similar conditions in place at the time, which effectively grounded the global fleet.

Since then, Boeing has worked with aviation regulators in the US, Europe and Canada on system modifications and changes to pilot training procedures.

"We have thoroughly and independently reviewed the work undertaken by Fiji Airways to bring their 737 Max aircraft back into service and are confident these aircraft are safe to return to operation," CAA deputy chief executive David Harrison said.

A date for when the aircraft will resume flying has not been decided.

"Passengers can be assured that no stone has been left unturned to ensure all the necessary safety improvements have been put in place so that when these aircraft return to New Zealand's skies, they do so safely."