Boeing 737 Max not likely to be cleared for flight until 2020

US civil aviation regulators are not likely to clear Boeing‘s problem-prone 737 Max aircraft for flight until next year, according to the Administrator of Federal Aviation Administration Steve Dickson.

FAA chief said there is no clear timeline for when the agency will re-certify the 737 Max and that there are 10 to 11 milestones left to complete before it can be approved.

“Like I said there are a number of processes, milestones, that have to be completed,” Dickson said, “If you just do the math, it’s going to extend into 2020.”

“We’re going to follow every step of the process, however long that takes,” he said. “I’ve made it clear that I’m going to support my people and that means they are going to take whatever time it takes to get this process completed and to do it the right way.”

Dickson added that his team is currently in the process of reviewing the plane’s software and “the validation of how the software was developed.”

Dickson’s comments nullify any hope that Boeing had of getting the planes re-certified before the end of the year.

The 737 MAX return date has repeatedly slipped. The uncertainty has been a challenge for airlines like Southwest and American, which have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue with the planes out of service, said the report.