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Monday, February 25, 2013

FAA is Reviewing Boeing’s Proposed 787 Battery Fix

Senior executives from Boeing met with officials from FAA on Friday to discuss the company's proposal to fix the recent 787 battery issues.

FAA grounded all in-service Boeing 787s in mid-January, after a string of incidents involving the battery on 787s operated by Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA). Since then, all 50 in-service Dreamliners worldwide have remained grounded, as investigative teams in Japan and the United States review the recent incidents and try to discover the cause of the problems with the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries.

The agency said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari met with representatives from Boeing to discuss the proposed battery fix.

On Friday, FAA issued a new airworthiness directive requiring modification of the battery system for the 787. The AD is considered an “interim action” as the investigation of the recent incidents is still ongoing.

Neither FAA nor Boeing has commented on the specifics of the proposal. FAA is currently reviewing the proposal and has not given an estimated date when the 787 could return to commercial service.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been investigating the Jan. 7 incident where the lithium ion battery on a JAL 787 caught on fire shortly after landing in Boston. NTSB has narrowed the origin of the fire to one of the battery’s eight cells, but is still unable to identify the actual cause of the fire.

“The safety of the flying public is our top priority and we won't allow the 787 to return to commercial service until we're confident that any proposed solution has addressed the battery failure risks,” FAA said in a statement Friday. More

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