Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (27 January 2021) – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) has announced today that it will allow the Boeing 737 MAX to operate passenger flights, subject to close oversight. The ban on the aircraft operating in Cayman Islands’ airspace has also been removed. The changes come into effect on 27 January 2021. This follows similar decisions by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The decision follows the approval of extensive modifications to the design of the aircraft, to how it is flown, and to pilot training. This includes modifications to the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), as well as other key safety changes aimed at preventing further accidents.
The removal of the airspace ban will allow foreign operators of the aircraft to fly into Cayman Islands’ airspace. All airlines, however, will need to go through the necessary steps to return the aircraft to service, including pilot training.
The aircraft was grounded following two tragic accidents (Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019). The UK, including the Overseas Territories (OTs), was one of the first countries to act, preventing the aircraft from using its airspace.
The US FAA is responsible for the initial type certification (approval) of the Boein