The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the temporary grounding of all Boeing 737 Max airplanes in the United States.
The agency made the decision after receiving new evidence collected at the site of the tragic crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
President Donald Trump first announced the grounding of Boeing 737 Max airplanes during a White House briefing on Wednesday.
Trump told reporters, “The FAA is prepared to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence that we received from the site…We had a very, very detailed group of people working on the 737-8 and 737-9 new airplanes. We’re gonna be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9 and the planes associated with that line.”
Additionally, the President said the federal government already notified all airlines regarding the order to ground all Boeing 737 Max planes. The airlines agreed that “the safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern.” He went on to say that the aircraft will not fly “until further notice.”
New evidence shows “some similarities” between Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air accidents
In its grounding order, the FAA stated that new information from the wreckage of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 indicates “some similarities” with the Lion Air Flight 610 crash went paired with new satellite images.
The agency concluded that it is necessary to conduct “further investigation of the possibility of shared cause for the two incidents.”
In a statement, the FAA said, “The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.”
Boeing supports FAA decision to ground 737 Max airplanes
Meanwhile, the Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) released a statement reiterating its strong confidence in the safety of 737 Max airplanes. The company also expressed its support for the temporary suspension of the operations of all 737 Max aircraft worldwide.
The company said, “We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
“Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.”