Canada banning Boeing 737 Max aircraft from country's airspace

Canada banning Boeing 737 Max aircraft from country's airspace
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Canada banned Boeing 737 Max aircraft from its airspace on Wednesday following two deadly crashes involving the passenger jets in the past six months.

“Following advice from Transport Canada Civil Aviation experts, as a precautionary measure, I am issuing a safety notice to address this issue,” Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement.

“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.”

Garneau said that new data showing similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people, and another deadly incident last October in Indonesia factored into the decision.

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“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,” he said.

He explained that his agency looked at the takeoff patterns of both flights, then compared those to how normal flights leave airports. The agency was concerned by anomalies in how fast the two Max 8 flights ascended.

Canada joins several other countries and airlines that have grounded the passenger jet in the wake of a crash in Ethiopia.

The FAA, however, has maintained that the plane is safe to fly.

Garneau said he notified U.S. authorities of Canada's decision to ban the aircraft earlier Wednesday morning.

“We have been working very closely with them” on investigations into the crash, he added.

Garneau also said there was “no political pressure” from the U.S. to keep the passenger jets in the air.

In October, 189 people were killed when a Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed after takeoff in Indonesia.

— This breaking news report was updated at 12:37 p.m.