787’s return to skies edges closer

787’s return to skies edges closer
By admin

The US air regulator has approved Boeing's plan for a redesigned 787 battery system following a thorough review of the proposal submitted last month.

But a timeframe for the Dreamliner's return to the skies remains unclear.

While the certification plan's approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the "first step" towards the 787's return to service, it will require the aircraft manufacturer to undertake "extensive" testing and analysis to show the troubled aircraft complies with safety regulations.

The improvements will include a redesign of the internal battery components that will minimise the chances of a short circuit.

FAA administrator Michael Huerta said: "Today's announcement starts a testing process which will demonstrate whether the proposed fix will work as designed."

But he stressed its airworthiness directive, issued on January 16, which required the suspension of 787 operations still stands.

"We won't allow the plane to return to service unless we're satisfied that the new design ensures the safety of the aircraft and its passengers," US transportation secretary Ray LaHood said.

Meanwhile, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive Jim McNerney described the approval as a "critical and welcome milestone" towards getting the aircraft back on track.

"Our top priority is the integrity of our products and the safety of the passengers and crews who fly on them," he said. "Our team has been working around the clock to understand the issues and develop a solution based on extensive analysis and testing following the events that occurred in January."

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