Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Lebanon Closes Airspace to Boeing 737 MAX, Says Civil Aviation

Lebanon Closes Airspace to Boeing 737 MAX, Says Civil Aviation

Sunwing had already grounded its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for what it called "evolving commercial reasons" unrelated to safety including airspace restrictions in other countries.

Hours later, U.S. President Donald Trump announced an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in that country, effectively closing the skies to the more than 375 Max 8s now in service across the globe.

The widening action against the aircraft has put pressure on Boeing - the world's biggest plane manufacturer - to prove the 737 MAX is safe, and the company has said it is rolling out flight software updates by April that could address issues with a faulty sensor.

"Regarding Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 that had been in the news recently, there is no cause for alarm as there is no operator in Nigeria that is using that type of airplane".

That followed the October crash of a new Lion Air jet of the same model in Indonesia, which killed 189 people shortly after takeoff from Jakarta. Although there is no solid evidence the jet is flawed - and no proof that two recent crashes involving the model were connected - several countries have ordered the planes grounded.

"The new information comes from satellite tracking data suggesting a possible, although unproven in the flight profile of the Lion Air aircraft, and I caution that this new information is not conclusive and that we must await further evidence hopefully from the voice and data recorders", Garneau continued. He previously worked with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. The similarity is a warning sign for him and his agency, he said. He said pilots have been given additional training and flight procedures on what they have to do if a similar situation occured. "The investigation team will decide where", the spokesman told Reuters.

The safety notice restricts the 737 Max 8 or Max 9 from operating in or flying over Canada, effective immediately, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday in Ottawa.

It was the second time the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has halted flights of a Boeing plane in six years, grounding the 787 Dreamliner in 2013 due to problems with smoking batteries.

Anyone who has a flight affected by the grounding should contact their airlines to find out what to do, said Garneau. A total of 18 Canadians were killed in the latest crash.

They also discussed Ethiopian refugee legislation, said Trudeau, as well as an upcoming women's rights conference in Vancouver and the detention of Canadians in China, "and the importance of the rule of law". The plane's passengers included nine Ethiopians, in addition to Ethiopian crew.

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