Fund compensating Boeing crash victims starts taking claims

A $50 million fund for compensating families of people killed in crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes has begun taking claims.

Fund officials said Monday they have begun accepting applications, with a deadline of Dec. 31 for submitting claims.

Boeing is providing money for the fund, which works out to nearly $145,000 for each of the 346 people who died in crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Dozens of families are suing the Chicago-based company, which said relatives won't have to drop their lawsuits to get compensation from the fund.

Administrators of the fund include Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw compensation for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The 737 Max remains grounded. The Federal Aviation Administration was scheduled to meet Monday in Montreal with international regulators to explain its review of changes that Boeing is making in the plane, including updates to a flight-control system implicated in the accidents. The FAA said its delegation would be led by Stephen Dickson, who took over as administrator in August.

The FAA was the last regulator to ground the plane and is likely to be the first to let it fly again, although Dickson has said repeatedly he has no timetable for reviewing Boeing's work.

The likelihood of a long gap between FAA action and approval by other regulators seems to be easing. Patrick Ky, head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, told a French aviation publication that a European decision could follow within a few days of FAA approval.