Aviation News

April 19, 2013

FAA Approves 787 Battery Fix, Return To Service Imminent

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Written by: Jason Rabinowitz
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On Friday afternoon, the FAA approved battery system improvements for the 787 Dreamliner, a move which enables Boeing to resume deliveries of the aircraft and get existing 787s back in the air.

“FAA approval clears the way for us and the airlines to begin the process of returning the 787 to flight with continued confidence in the safety and reliability of this game-changing new airplane,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney. “The promise of the 787 and the benefits it provides to airlines and their passengers remain fully intact as we take this important step forward with our customers and program partners.”

“Safety of the traveling public is our number one priority. These changes to the 787 battery will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

For US based airlines with aircraft that have already been delivered, they will reenter passenger service as soon as the updated battery design is installed, which could be in a matter of days or weeks. 787s based and modified outside the United States, local regulatory authorities provide the final approval on return to service.

“The FAA set a high bar for our team and our solution,” said McNerney. “We appreciate the diligence, expertise and professionalism of the FAA’s technical team and the leadership of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood throughout this process.  Our shared commitment with global regulators and our customers to safe, efficient and reliable airplanes has helped make air travel the safest form of transportation in the world today.”

“The improved battery system includes design changes to both prevent and isolate a fault should it occur. In addition, improved production, operating and testing processes have been implemented. The new steel enclosure system is designed to keep any level of battery overheating from affecting the airplane or even being noticed by passengers,” said Boeing via press release.

“FAA will closely monitor modifications of the aircraft in the U.S. fleet. The FAA will stage teams of inspectors at the modification locations. Any return to service of the modified 787 will only take place after the FAA accepts the work,” said the FAA via press release.

The 787 has been grounded since January due to battery system malfunctions, causing thermal runaways which had the potential to damage the aircraft.

Next week, the NTSB will hold an investigative hearing into the cause of the battery malfunction.

About the Author

Jason Rabinowitz



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  • Jake Lewis

    Great article, glad the 787 has overcome it’s battery problems. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Jake (pilotjake.blogspot.com)

  • NickSJ

    Now what level of ETOPs will the 787 be approved for?

  • nice article super liked

    help us also timprove


  • Nuku

    Why is Boeing keeping the worst battery maker for a beautiful multimillion dollar Aircraft like the 787? something is not right in this engineering judgment. Quick fixes are always bad for aviation safety!

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