Boeing said Tuesday it will begin hiring a few hundred temporary employees at Moses Lake to work on the grounded 737 Max fleet and prepare the planes for return to service once regulators give clearance for the jets to fly again.
For the new temporary hires, Boeing is looking for avionics technicians, aircraft mechanics, airframe and power plant mechanics, and aircraft electricians. The company will provide paid housing and a meal allowance.
When regulators finally clear the 737 Max to return to service, all the grounded airplanes worldwide will need to have installed a new software package designed to fix the Max’s flawed flight control system – the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. That’s the system that was implicated in the crashes of the Lion Air Max in Indonesia in October and the Ethiopian Airlines Max in March that killed a total of 346 people.
In addition, because all the jets will have been parked for at least six months by the time final clearance is given, each will require extensive maintenance work on the engines and other systems, followed by a couple of check flights to ensure everything is working well.
Boeing said Tuesday the current plan for handling this maintenance work is that all Max airplanes that have been stored outside the Puget Sound region, either by Boeing itself or by airlines, will be flown to Seattle and Everett for delivery. Moses Lake will serve as a nearby staging ground to do some of the maintenance work ahead of the Puget Sound-area deliveries to airline customers.
Boeing is not providing details on total airplanes or capacity at each of those locations.
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