Canada is banning all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 model aircrafts from arriving and departing and from its airspace until further notice in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
On Sunday morning, a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia claimed the lives of 157 people,18 of them being Canadian citizens. The federal government said it has decided to ground all commercial flights of Boeing 737 MAX 8 airlines in the country as a precautionary measure.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the grounding in a news conference this morning, stating that the safety notice is coming into effect after new information was recently received.
“My thoughts continue to go out to all those affected by the tragic aircraft accident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” said Garneau in a statement. “Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue.”
“This safety notice restricts commercial passenger flights from any air operator, both domestic and foreign, of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft – from arriving, departing, or overflying Canadian airspace.”
The Minister stressed that the grounding is a temporary precaution, while incoming evidence and information is reviewed. He also noted that the ministry had the utmost confidence and “trust” in Canadian pilots.
“Canada has an enviable aviation safety record because of the professionalism and safety-first focus of Canada’s aviation industry – those who design and manufacture aircraft, those who maintain them, our airports, our air traffic controllers and of course those who operate and fly the aircraft,” said Garneau.
“It also due to the world-class knowledge, expertise and relentless focus on safety by Transport Canada officials who are responsible for developing regulations and ensuring compliance with those regulations.”
Canada’s move to temporarily ban Boeing 737 Max 8 planes echoes decisions made by other countries, including China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the entirety of the European Union.
The United States, meanwhile, remains a hold out and has not issued any grounding of their Boeing planes.
“It is too soon to speculate about the cause of the accident in Addis Ababa, and to make direct links to the Lion Air accident in Indonesia in October 2018; however, my department has been closely monitoring the investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority,” Garneau added.
“My departmental officials continue to monitor the situation and I will not hesitate to take swift action, should we discover any additional safety issues.”
The minister is encouraging airlines to allow passengers to rebook or cancel their tickets if they had purchased flights on these specific aircrafts.