This Alert replaces IOSA Operator Alert 9 and provides clarification on the auditing or exempting of B737MAX in light of its returning to service.
1.2. Historical Information – B737MAX Suspension
Following the B737MAX accidents of Lion Air in October 2019 and Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019, authorities worldwide have suspended (grounded) the Boeing 737MAX aircraft. Consequently, IATA issued IOSA Operator Alert 9 on 15 March 2019 to provide clarity on the auditing or exempting of 737 MAX type and additional procedures regarding the IOSA Audit Report (IAR).
1.3. B737 MAX Return to Service
On 20 November 2020, the FAA issued Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-24-02, applicable to certain Boeing 737-8 and 737-9 (MAX) aircraft. In summary, the AD requires installing new flight control computer software, incorporating new and revised flight crew procedures in the Aircraft
Flight Manual (AFM), installing new MAX display system software, changing the horizontal stabilizer trim wire routing installations, completing an angle of attack sensor system test, and performing an operational readiness flight. Other actions such as pilot training were not covered in this AD but in the FAA Flight Standardization Board Report Appendix 7.
Subsequently, Operators started operating the B737MAX after all actions required in the FAA AD 2020-24-02 were performed and all pilots were trained in accordance with FAA Flight Standardization Board (FSB) Report for Boeing 737, Revision 17, Appendix 7 (Boeing 737 MAX Special Training for Flight Crews). Accordingly, EASA issued AD 2021-0039 on 27 January 2021.
2. Action Requested
2.1.1. If an IOSA Audit is planned for an Operator that has B737MAX in its fleet which returned to service, AO shall ensure that the aircraft shall be included in the audit scope if the aircraft is listed in the Operator’s AOC.
2.1.2. If the B737MAX aircraft in an Operator’s fleet has not returned to service, but the Operator is in the process of completing relevant AD actions or necessary trainings, the aircraft shall not be included in the audit scope. However, the IOSA Auditor shall review the actions taken to return the aircraft to service provide a short summary of the actions completed, and those in progress and planned, in the ‘Additional Information’ section of the IOSA Audit Report (IAR).
2.1.3. If the Operator is not planning to return it to service and/or relevant AD actions or necessary training are not scheduled at the time of the audit, B737MAX aircraft shall also be excluded from the audit scope and auditors are not required to review the actions taken as mentioned above paragraph.
2.2 Focus Areas
The B737MAX’s return to service is identified by IATA as a Focus Area in accordance with IPM Temporary Appendix 4.3. Increased attention by IOSA Auditors will be required. IOSA Auditors will redistribute or increase the sample size to ensure that the B737MAX’ return to service is addressed in the IOSA Standards and Recommended Practices (ISARPs) below:
- FLT 1.12.1 / FLT 1.12.2 Risk Management
- FLT 1.4.2 Issues that affect operational safety & security
- FLT 2.1.3 New fleet modifications
- FLT 2.1.10 Training Manual
- FLT 2.1.45 Configuration consistency of training facilities
- FLT 2.2.11 Training on Aircraft System & Limitations
- MNT 2.5.1 Airworthiness directives
- MNT 2.5.3 Minimum Equipment List
- MNT 2.6.1 Modifications
2.3 Recommendations for Operators
Operators are recommended to monitor the B737MAX’ return to service through auditing and/or alternative internal oversight methods and ensure conformity with affected ISARPs.