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Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands has suspended the operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to or from Solomon Islands following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 on Sunday 10th March 2019.
CAASI’s decision follows similar moves from global regulators including that of Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, whom have held discussions with other aviation authorities, including the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who has responsibility for oversight of the design of the aircraft. The CAASI’s assessment has taken into consideration the level of uncertainty regarding the cause of the recent Ethiopian Airlines accident plus its review of the aircraft design.
Currently, only Fiji Airways has this aircraft type on its Foreign AOC but there is very low utilization on this type for its flights into and out of Solomon Islands. There are no other airlines that fly this aircraft type to Solomon Islands. CAASI has thoroughly review concerns about the B737 MAX series aircraft following the tragic accidents involving the type in Indonesian and Ethiopia.
Whilst this is a temporary suspension, CAASI will continue to closely monitor the situation, review and analyze information regarding the safety risks of continued operation of the Boeing 737 MAX to and from Solomon Islands.
CAASI regrets any inconvenience to passengers on Fiji Airways flights into and out of Solomon Islands but believes it is crucial to take this immediate action until more information is available on the cause of the two B737 MAX accidents.
Director of Civil Aviation (Acting)
Dated: 15th March 2019