In the wake of recent aviation catastrophes as well as safety actions taken by several nations, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States on Wednesday grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 aircraft of U.S. airlines or operated by foreign airlines within U.S. airspace.
"The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today," the FAA said. "This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision."
Earlier, President Donald Trump said both the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 models will be "grounded upon landing" at their destinations.
"Any plane currently in the air will go to its destination and thereafter be grounded until further notice," Trump told reporters Wednesday. "The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern."
Also on Wednesday, Canada's transport minister announced the country is barring the Max 8 jet from its airspace, Fox News reported. Minister Marc Garneau said satellite tracking data shows possible but unproven similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people and a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 crash that killed 189 people in October 2018.
In a statement, Boeing said it "continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX" but the company recommended suspending flights "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft's safety" after consulting with the FAA and NTSB.
"On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents," Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement. "We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again."
"The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.
"The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft's flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate."