FAA Grounds Boeing 737 Max But JAX Flights Are Not Impacted

Mar 13, 2019

The Federal Aviation Administration says it is temporarily grounding all Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory.

Jacksonville International Airport spokesman John Finotti told WJCT News Wednesday that JIA doesn’t anticipate any impact from the grounding.

“The Boeing 737 Max is mostly used for long distance flights, which Jax doesn't have,” said Finotti.

However, passengers making connecting flights in other cities could be affected. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines both have the grounded plane in their fleets.

Finotti suggested passengers check with their airline if flying on those carriers and making a connecting flight.

The announcement Wednesday afternoon follows decisions by many other countries to ground the planes after 157 people died in Sunday's crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max. Another Boeing 737 Max crashed in Indonesia in October

"The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft's flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders," the FAA said in a statement. "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 emergency order is effective immediately. Any Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 planes that were in flight when the order was issued "may proceed to and complete their soonest planned landing" — but they are not permitted to take off again. The order remains in effect until the FAA rescinds or modifies it.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.