< PrevNext > Feng Zhenglin, Director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China The Grounder By Dawit Habtemariam / December 13, 2019 / Contact Reporter Share When Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 fatally crashed on March 9, it became the second in six months to involve the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, following Lion Air Flight 610 crash into the Java Sea. Two days later, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration affirmed the airworthiness of the 737 Max, while the Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered all of China's airlines to ground the aircraft, citing the similarity between the two crashes and its "zero tolerance to potential safety hazards and strict control of safety risks."By March 13, aviation authorities in Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, India, Turkey, South Korea, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Malaysia followed CAAC's lead instead of the FAA's and grounded the aircraft. By the end of that day, the FAA too had grounded the aircraft. The fact that authorities around the world followed China's lead signaled CAAC's new status as a leader in global air safety.CAAC also intervened in Cathay Pacific's activities because of the Hong Kong protests. CAAC demanded Cathay Pacific suspend employees who "support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions or overtly radical behavior" from any airline activities related to Mainland China and to submit to the CAAC for approval identification of all crews flying to Mainland China or through its airspace, according to a memo sent to employees and obtained by BTN. Cathay Pacific reportedly suspended or fired pilots related to the protests. Amid pressure from CAAC (and the demonstrations), Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg, chief customer and commercial officer Paul Loo and the carrier's chairman, John Slosar, resigned their positions.