Iran Shuts Down Airspace to Boeing 737 MAX Planes

Rescue workers search the site for pieces of the wreckage of an Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft near Bishoftu Ethiopia

The US president said safety was of paramount concern.

The decision comes after Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded and banned from the airspace of the majority of the world's countries, including the United States.

"(Collins Aerospace) has standard flight deck positions on all Next-Generation 737 airplanes, but the 737 MAX marks the company's largest contribution to date on any single aisle jet", the company wrote in a press release last October. "They are working very, very hard right now and, hopefully, they'll quickly come up with an answer", Trump said.

The 373 MAX, the fourth generation of the 737, was launched in 2016 and gained its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification on March 8 2018.

On Nov. 7 a year ago, it issued an "emergency airworthiness directive", then an airworthiness directive on December 11, followed by a "continued airworthiness notification to the worldwide community" on Monday.

Aviation experts have said issues with the newly installed automated system on the 737 MAX planes called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, also known as MCAS, may have played a role in both the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash.

These similarities, the agency said, warrant further investigation into whether the two crashes were caused by the same issue.

Boeing and the FAA are also working to finalise a software update created to make the planes safer, which is expected to be done by next month.

Boeing maintains its new, fuel-efficient jets are safe, but supported the FAA decision to ground them.

"We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution", the statement added. "We will continue to work with our customers to help minimize any disruption to their travel plans".

Eight crew and 149 passengers from 35 countries perished when Flight ET 302 smashed into a field, 60 kilometres (40 miles) southeast of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, leaving a huge crater. All contact between air controllers and the aircraft was lost five minutes after it took off, the report said. "This includes the 24 MAX 8 aircraft in the American Airlines fleet".

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