Indonesia temporarily grounds Lion Air 737 MAX 9 aircraft

Close-up of Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft
Photo Credit: Alec Wilson from Khon Kaen, Thailand, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Indonesia’s aviation regulatory body the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has temporarily grounded flight operations for Lion Air’s three Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.

Aircraft not in inspection category

The move to temporarily ground the Indonesian low-cost carriers 737 MAX 9 aircraft follows the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Emergency Airworthiness Directive which grounded specifically configured MAX 9 aircraft pending maintenance inspection.

It should be noted that the three aircraft operated by Indonesian carrier Lion Air have a different configuration to the aircraft which was involved in the Alaska Airlines in-flight incident, and as such they are not a subject of concern related to that incident.

Photo Credit: Alec Wilson from Khon Kaen, Thailand, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to the national news source Tempo, Lion Air have conducted inspections of the aircraft in collaboration with Boeing and other authorities, and have confirmed that their aircraft are not included in the category identified by the incident.

Quoting a statement issued today Tuesday, January 9 by a spokesman for the airline: “Lion Air confirms that the Boeing 737 MAX 9 it operates is not included in the category of aircraft that experienced the incident related to the mid cabin door.”

“Lion Air’s Boeing 737 MAX 9 is equipped with a mid-cabin emergency exit door type II active door, which means the system on the middle emergency door functions actively and can be operated properly.”

In effect, the statement points out that Lion Air’s aircraft are not fitted with the non-active aft cabin door plug which is central to the maintenance inspections called up by the FAA Emergency Airworthiness Directive.

Despite this, the airline says that it will be carrying out further inspections which focus on the mid-cabin emergency exit door as a precautionary measure to ensure its compliance with aviation safety standards.

It is not known at this stage how long the temporary restriction on flight services will be in place for the three Lion Air Boeing aircraft.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
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