FAA says Boeing 737 MAX 9 grounding will continue as inspection procedure is finalized

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that the Boeing 737 MAX 9 grounding is expected to continue.

According to the agency, Boeing's initial instructions for inspecting and repairing the door plug that separated from an Alaska Airlines jet during a flight Friday night were in need of revision.

"Every Boeing 737-9 Max with a plug door will remain grounded until the FAA finds each can safely return to operation," the statement said. "To begin this process, Boeing must provide instructions to operators for inspections and maintenance. Boeing offered an initial version of instructions yesterday which they are now revising because of feedback received in response. Upon receiving the revised version of instructions from Boeing the FAA will conduct a thorough review. The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning the Boeing 737-9 Max to service."

What to know: Alaska Airlines flight lost a section of fuselage

Both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, the only two U.S.-based operators of the MAX 9, have reported defects in some of their preliminary fleet inspections.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered airlines to ground certain MAX 9 jets after the Alaska Airlines incident Friday. According to the agency, about 170 jets worldwide were affected by the order. There's no clear date for when the jets will be able to fly again, although airline officials previously expressed optimism that the door plugs could be inspected and remedied across their fleets in a matter of days.

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at zwichter@usatoday.com

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FAA update: Boeing 737 MAX 9 grounding will continue