Canada’s aviation authority has officially lifted the order grounding Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX 8 planes.
Nearly two years after grounding the fleet, Transport Canada announced earlier in the week it would lift the ban on flying the aircraft in Canadian airspace on Wednesday, and has now done so.
That clears Canadian airlines to resume flying the planes, with the first commercial flight set to take place by WestJet from Calgary to Vancouver on Thursday.
Aviation authorities around the world grounded the jets roughly 20 months ago following devastating twin air crashes just months apart that killed just shy of 350 people.
Fatal flaws in some of the aircraft sensors were shown to have repeatedly forced the nose of the jets down even as pilots fought to right the jets.
Transport Canada says those flaws have now been fixed.
Families of the victims, however, have argued the plane should be permanently grounded.
Nicholas Robinson, director general of civil aviation at Transport Canada, said the Canadian review of the aircraft was exhaustive and has resulted in several concrete changes designed to make the plane safer.
That includes the creation of a “circuit breaker” system for pilots as well as improved training on the design changes Boeing put in place for the aircraft to address the fatal sensor software problems that led to the devastating crashes of two 737 MAX 8 aircraft just five months apart.
Nearly 350 people died in those twin crashes, including 18 Canadians.
With files from Global’s Redmond Shannon.
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