The FAA on July 26 issued a directive giving 787 operators the option of inspecting ELTs or—since U.S. regulations do not require air carrier aircraft to have them—remove them from service. While the FAA limited the action to 787s, it left the door open for a broader mandate.
“We acknowledge that ELTs are installed on various other aircraft; therefore, continued investigation is required,” FAA said in the AD’s preamble. “Once final action has been identified, we might consider further rulemaking.”
Honeywell has produced about 6,000 of the ELTs in question. In its update, AAIB noted that the Ethiopian Airlines incident “has been the only significant thermal event.”