Boeing ready to move on 787 fix, if FAA approves
Boeing said Monday that it is set to move quickly to get its 787s back in the air if it gets federal approval for a fix for the batteries that have grounded the planes.
The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a plan that Boeing submitted on Feb. 22 for fixing the batteries. The FAA has said it expects its experts to recommend this week whether to accept the plan.
Ray Conner, who runs Boeing Co.'s commercial airplane unit, described the process to industry analysts at a J.P. Morgan aviation conference in New York.
The FAA certifies parts used on planes, and changes can prompt the need for a part's re-certification. The agency has to first certify Boeing's fix, then it has to approve testing for the fix, Conner said. Then Boeing will be able to install the fix on the 50 787s that have been delivered so far.
Once it gets FAA permission, "this will move really fast in terms of being able to get the airplanes back into the air," Conner said. "We are prepared, we are ready to go."
Conner didn't say how long he thought all that would take.
Boeing's fix has been described as a long-term solution aimed at making sure that short-circuiting in one battery cell can't spread to another.
The 787 has been grounded since Jan. 16 after one plane had a battery fire, and a smoking battery on another plane forced an emergency landing.
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