WASHINGTON: The senior US air safety official said yesterday that even if his agency accepts Boeing’s plan to fix batteries on its 787, the plane will need a slew of tests before it is allowed to fly again.
Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta was speaking after a report that Boeing might be able to make test flights as early as next week, but he seemed to suggest that the process might take time.
In testimony to the House of Representatives aviation subcommittee, said he expected to have an FAA report next week on Boeing’s proposal.
All 50 of the world’s 787s were grounded on January 16 after the lithium-ion batteries on the cutting-edge plane overheated, causing a fire on one parked in Boston and smoke on another that forced an emergency landing in Japan.
The eight-cell battery was manufactured by GS Yuasa of Japan, which was hired for the project by Thales, a French subcontractor for the 787 Dreamliner, an all-new plane built largely with lightweight composite materials.