February 22, 2013
Credit: United Airlines
Boeing says Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner Feb. 22 “held a productive meeting” in Washington with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta about the manufacturer’s proposal to modify the 787 battery system.
“We are encouraged by the progress being made toward resolving the issue and returning the 787 to flight for our customers and their passengers around the world,” says Boeing, which declines to discuss details of the proposal. The company adds it has “drawn upon resources from across the company and externally, pulling together teams of hundreds of experts and working this issue around the clock for the past several weeks.”
The FAA, in a separate statement, notes that it “is reviewing a Boeing proposal and will analyze it closely. 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.”
The meeting occurred the same day the FAA issued an airworthiness directive (AD) requiring modifications of the battery systems on 787s before the type can resume operations.
The AD is the first acknowledgement that a battery modification could allow the aircraft to return to service. The AD effectively prepares the ground for a modification program, and also represents the first official confirmation that such an action on this scale will be required.