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Air Traffic Control

Germany: You Can’t Fly the 737 MAX Over Our Airspace

Germany: You Can’t Fly the 737 MAX Over Our Airspace
Jackie Reddy

A Norwegian 737 MAX flight – which was being flown from Spain to Sweden for mandatory maintenance – was told to land in France when Germany refused it entry to its airspace. Norwegian stated that it had received clearance for the flight from both Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

A Norwegian Boeing 737 MAX plane that was being moved from Spain to Sweden for mandatory maintenance was asked to land in France when Germany refused it entry to its airspace on Tuesday. As Business Insider explains, while this particular aircraft type has been prohibited from operating commercially following the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, certain carriers are still running some flights in order to move craft for maintenance purposes.

The outlet explains that none of these flights have passengers onboard and in this particular instance, the aircraft was being moved from the Spanish city of Malaga to Stockholm. A spokesperson for the airline confirmed that it was moving craft in preparation for the installation of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) software fix.

The flight was carried out with the approval of Eurocontrol, the body that manages air traffic within Europe. It also had the approval of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which regulates the continent’s aviation traffic.

While EASA banned the aircraft from flying over Europe, Aerotime News reports that “each European country remains sovereign of its airspace.

Explaining the incident in an official statement which has been quoted by Business Insider, Norwegian said, “Just before entering German airspace both the German and French authorities sent a notice that prohibited repositioning flights of the Boeing 737 Max in their airspace. Our pilots were instructed to land south of Paris.

A spokesperson for Deutsche Flugischerung, which is responsible for air traffic control in Germany, confirmed to Business Insider that the ban on 737 MAX aircraft over German skies would continue until September.

However, a spokesperson for Norwegian said that it “did not receive any notice from the German authorities prior to the positioning flight departing,” and added that it had been given permission to fly the craft by EASA and Eurocontrol.

[Featured Image: Boeing]

View Comments (4)


  1. DaveMidknight

    June 15, 2019 at 1:27 am

    Eurocontrol only provides air traffic control through Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, which provides an air traffic control service for the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and northern Germany. For the rest of Germany the DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung is responsible for air traffic control.
    It looks like the got an approval by Eurocontrol, but planed to fly through DFS airspace without getting a prior approval from them.

  2. Danwriter

    June 15, 2019 at 7:52 am

    Maybe the Germans thought it was a B17 (another Boeing aircraft).

  3. edgewood49

    June 15, 2019 at 9:12 am

    LOL Danwriter!!!

  4. submonte

    June 15, 2019 at 10:30 am

    B17? LOL 🙂

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