In preparation for the Boeing 737 MAX returning to service, the company has begun hiring extra temporary employees at Moses Lake, Washington in order to work on the stored MAX aircraft. The vacancies being filled at present are for avionics technicians, aircraft mechanics, airframe and powerplant mechanics and aircraft electricians.
Boeing’s plan for returning the airliners to service focuses on returning all the MAX fleets stored outside the Puget Sound region of Washington to Seattle and Everett for delivery. The Moses Lake facility is to be used as a staging area for maintenance work before deliveries. Some of the aircraft has been already been in storage for more than five months and unlikely to return to service for a further two months, as they will need extensive maintenance work and check flights, in addition to installation of the fixed software relating to the improved MCAS system.
Boeing predicts that the rectification package for the MAX will be approved in September, but the earliest date for when the aircraft could be approved for passenger service is not expected to be until the “fourth quarter of 2019”, said the company’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg stated in August.
Moses Lake became the new storage facility for the 737 MAX after Boeing ran out of room at its Puget Sound region site.
Prior to it becoming another MAX storage area, the Moses Lake site was rumoured as a possible location of Boeing’s new middle of the market aircraft production. But since the MAX grounding, the manufacturer has not made a final decision on whether the company is to build the Boeing NMA or 797.