Boeing 737 MAX

Just weeks after taking the reins of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Stephen Dickson said the grounded Boeing 737 MAX fleet would not be permitted to fly again until “I’m completely assured that it is safe to do so.”

According to, Dickson was confirmed as the new FAA administrator in July and has been fielding questions about the impacted Boeing planes since being sworn in on Monday. He said during the ceremony the FAA is not following any timeline for returning the aircraft to service.

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“We’re going where the facts lead us and diligently ensuring that all technology and training is present and current before the plane returns to passenger service,” Dickson told ABC.

Dickson was sworn in Monday by U.S Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and apologized during the ceremony about the deaths of 346 people in two separate crashes involving the 737 MAX aircraft.

Reports initially claimed there were flaws in the FAA’s certification process., but then-acting Deputy Administrator Carl Burleson said in July the “fundamental process of how we went about certifying the MAX was sound.”

While Boeing officials and FAA safety experts have been working to fix the flaws discovered following the two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX in October 2018 and March 2019, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company is “in the final stages of repairing that software.”

“We’ll go through certification with the FAA,” Muilenburg said. “We plan to submit that certification package in September and currently anticipate that we will return the airplane to service early in the fourth quarter.”