A month after the US cleared the Boeing 737 Max to fly once again under certain conditions, Europe is expected to soon do the same. The head of the EU's aviation safety agency says he is "certain" the aircraft is safe to fly after the EASA completed a thorough review of the plane and analyzed the design changes made since 346 people died in two crashes involving flawed flight control software. Europe is expected to officially clear the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March of last year, to fly again in mid-January, the BBC reports. A test flight will first be required for each plane to ensure the necessary changes have been made properly, and training will be required for pilots. Brazil has also cleared the aircraft.
The news comes, however, on the heels of what the Verge calls a "damning" Senate report accusing Boeing of "inappropriately coaching" some FAA pilots during recertification tests on the aircraft. It alleges the "FAA and Boeing were attempting to cover up important information that may have contributed to the 737 MAX tragedies." The EASA has an international agreement under which the FAA carries out much of the recertification work and the EASA endorses it; in light of the Senate report, the EASA chief says that in the future, "we will perform our own safety assessment, which is going to be much more comprehensive than it used to be." (Read more Boeing stories.)