When a product's not constructed in Canada, the role of Transport Canada is to validate the certification decisions taken by the state in which it was constructed. This allows us to ensure that the product has conformed with the regulations and our expectations within Canada.
When it concerns the Boeing 737 Max, Boeing is the manufacturer and has developed the modifications to respond to the safety risks that were identified as a result of the accidents that took place in 2018 and 2019. The United States, as the state where the aircraft was constructed, is the certifier. As was announced on November 18, the FAA has finished its certification of these modifications and has approved the return to service of this aircraft.
Transport Canada, as the validating authority, is now determining, through our own independent review, whether to validate the proposed changes, ensuring that our certification as I outlined meets the expectations that we have, both regulatory and our standards within Canada.
I'd like to take some time to speak in more detail about the independent review that Transport Canada is undertaking. Our actions related to the Boeing 737 Max began shortly after the Lion Air accident in Indonesia on October 29, 2018. Following this tragedy, Canada, in collaboration with its operators, developed and implemented enhanced training requirements for pilots. These exceeded the standards implemented by other countries. This was done within the first two weeks after the Lion Air accident, and it's our understanding that Canada and its operators of the Max were the only individuals who implemented these additional requirements.
I remind you that these requirements directly related to the runaway trim stabilizer condition that has been implicated in both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines disasters. Following the Ethiopian Airlines accident that occurred on March 10, 2019, Transport Canada assessed the risks and the need for additional actions, keeping in mind our original unique actions taken back in November 2018.
Upon receiving and analyzing new satellite data, the department closed Canadian airspace to the aircraft on March 13, 2019. This action demonstrated that Canada makes evidence-based decisions to prioritize safety, and that we do not hesitate to take action when safety issues are identified.
Since I appeared here in February, Transport Canada has progressed significantly in our validation work of the Boeing 737 Max and has completed many major milestones in the process. The department has worked in close collaboration with the FAA and other key certifying authorities, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil, as well as the three Canadian operators of the Max and their pilot unions, to address all factors necessary for the safe return to service of the aircraft.
Most significantly, as part of the validation process, Transport Canada successfully completed in August a series of flight test activities of the updated aircraft. These tests covered the validation of the proposed changes, as well as additional procedures deemed necessary by Transport Canada. In September, Transport Canada participated in a joint operational evaluation board, commonly referred to as a JOEB. This board was made up of representatives from global certification authorities, and the results of the evaluation have been used to establish the minimum training requirements for the return to service of the Boeing 737 Max.
Along with our departmental experts that participated, supporting Canada's efforts were Canadian commercial line pilots of the Max. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Canadian operators and the pilot unions for their tremendous support in this extremely important activity.
Our safety experts are now finalizing their independent validation process to determine whether to approve the proposed changes to the aircraft. I must say that I am proud of the leadership our team has demonstrated to date, particularly on the aircraft design changes that they were instrumental in helping shape.
I can let this committee know today that our validation decision is imminent. The collaboration between global authorities has resulted in a significant amount of common convergence in our independent decisions, but this should not be seen as a rubber-stamp process. While the international collaboration has been unprecedented, as we indicated last week, there will be differences between what the FAA approved and what Canada will require of its operators. These differences will include additional procedures on the flight deck as well as differences in training.
We want to emphasize that Transport Canada's intention to require differences in Canada does not imply that the FAA has an inferior safety standard for the aircraft. As mentioned before, Transport Canada has conducted its independent review, and as such has arrived at different conclusions in a few areas.
I would also like to note that even after our validation decision is made, steps will still need to be taken prior to the return to service of this aircraft in Canada. These will include the issuance of Canada's unique airworthiness directive, or AD, and training directives to Canadian operators. We will be working closely with Canadian operators, crews and pilot unions on the next steps. The issuance of these directives is not expected to be completed until sometime in January of 2021. In the meantime, Transport Canada remains steadfast in its commitment that the Boeing 737 Max will not be permitted to fly in Canada until we can confirm that the changes have been made to the aircraft and that adequate procedures and training are in place.
I must address a final point before closing. I would be remiss if I did not underscore that Transport Canada has learned a great deal from the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 accident in terms of how the government responds to major air accidents. I want to acknowledge that our department and I were absent in terms of communicating with the families of the victims early on. Our certification and aviation experts were focused on addressing the safety issues that needed to be addressed. That is their job. Unfortunately, we tragically missed recognizing the human toll these accidents take.
We have learned from this mistake and have worked to rectify this over the last year. On January 8, 2020, I personally met with family members of the Canadian victims. This meeting allowed Transport Canada to hear concerns and questions from the families. We have not and will not forget what the families shared with us during that meeting and what we have heard from them since.
We have since tried to keep the families informed of new developments in the validation process through regular, direct communication, as well as by addressing other needs that have been presented to us as a result of this horrible tragedy. Those lessons have helped Canada respond better to the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 this past January.
We will continue to learn and improve from the experiences that these families and groups share with us. Canada will continue to work so that other families don't have to suffer through a similar tragedy without the support and communication that they expect from their government.
Mr. Chair, I trust that the foregoing information has shed some light on Canada's response to date to these two tragic accidents and has demonstrated Canada's role.
I welcome any questions or comments.