Boeing 737 Max 9 grounding will continue as FAA continues inspections

Boeing 737 Max 9 inspections have begun, but the grounding will continue indefinitely as the Federal Aviation Administration reviews the results and increases its oversight of Boeing and its subcontractors.

The FAA said in a Wednesday statement that 40 Max 9s with door plugs – the kind involved in an explosive decompression incident on Alaska Airlines earlier this month – have already undergone inspections, but the agency has not yet signed off on their final results.

“All 737-9 MAX aircraft with door plugs will remain grounded pending the FAA’s review and final approval of an inspection and maintenance process that satisfies all FAA safety requirements,” the statement said. “Once the FAA approves an inspection and maintenance process, it will be required on every grounded 737-9 MAX prior to future operation.”

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The agency announced last week it would increase its oversight of Boeing’s manufacturing processes, and Boeing said in earlier statements that it intends to fully cooperate in the ongoing investigations and enhanced oversight of the Max 9.

United and Alaska Airlines are the main U.S. operators of the affected Max 9 aircraft, and they both have more than 150 canceled flights on Wednesday as a result, according to FlightAware.

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Boeing 737 Max inspections begin amid increased FAA oversight