ASTANA – Five Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft registered in Kazakhstan have valid airworthiness certificates, the Aviation Administration of Kazakhstan (AAK) reported on Jan. 7.
The statement comes after an incident involving Boeing 737 MAX 9, operated by Alaska Airlines, which lost a fuselage section mid-flight in Oregon, United States (U.S.) on Jan. 5.
On Jan. 6, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded dozens of Boeing 737 Max 9 airplanes, directing them to undergo inspection. This directive applies to any Boeing B737-9 aircraft, certified in any category, with an installed emergency hatch exit in the middle cabin.
“Kazakhstan currently operates aircraft with emergency exit doors, not door plugs; therefore, the directive is not applicable to these aircraft,” the statement reads.
The aviation administration is in contact with Boeing and the FAA to assess the need for further measures.
On Jan. 5, one of Alaska Airlines planes had to make an emergency landing after an outer section of the plane fell off. Witnesses described a loud noise, deployment of air masks, and a gap “as wide as a refrigerator.”
“There was a kid in that row who had his shirt sucked off him and out of the plane and his mother was holding onto him to make sure he didn’t go with it,” one of the passengers said, as quoted by BBC.
The flight to Ontario, California, had reached 4,876 meters when it began its emergency descent. The plane, carrying 177 passengers and crew, landed safely in Portland. There were no injuries reported on board.