CHICAGO (CBS)– Boeing 737 Max planes have been grounded since two tragic crashes, but they could fly again in the year ahead.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas asked CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg some key questions about the planes.READ MORE: Jury Selection To Begin Monday In Jussie Smollett Trial
TM: Any sense, at this point, when the Max might fly again?
PG: I’ve been saying all along it was not gonna fly this year. I’m gonna be right. But I’m gonna go beyond that. I don’t think it will be flying commercial, paying passengers until second quarter (April, May or June) of next year.
TM: Is there any chance it will never fly again?
PG: There’s always that chance. But look. Boeing didn’t design a bad airplane. They used a very bad flight management system that the pilots couldn’t control or react fast enough to, and that’s what caused those two crashes.READ MORE: At Least 41 People Wounded, 5 Killed In Thanksgiving Weekend Shootings In Chicago
TM: What does Boeing have to do to reassure people that it is safe?
PG: This is going to be a very slow road back. They can’t just rename the plane. You can’t say it’s just the plane formerly known as Prince. No doubt about the fact that they’re going to fix this plane. It’s the optics. Think about it, the FAA re certifies the plane in the United States and the rest of the world is saying it can’t land there. Who’s going to get on the plane?
Greenberg also has strong opinions about the FAA’s role in the situation.
PG: What you have to do is fix the relationship between the FAA and the operators and the airlines they’re supposed to regulate and enforce safety with. And the FAA has done a terrible job doing that. Because when the FAA was established by an act of congress in 1935 they were given a dual and impossible mandate to enact and enforce safety and then promote the business of aviation. You cannot do both.
TM: Would you fly on the Max?MORE NEWS: 17-Year-Old Boy Killed, 4 Injured In Evanston Shooting
PG: Once it’s certified again, you bet. I would fly it again.