FAA to review Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner
By Ashley Halsey III and Mark Berman,
The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct a thorough review of Boeing’s troubled 787 plane, the agency announced on Friday. The review follows a spate of recent problems for the Dreamliner, including an electrical fire that occurred on Monday at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Authorities eager to reassure travelers worldwide said they would conduct a comprehensive review of problems with the new airplane, but they said that incidents involving the 787 did not give cause to ground the plane.
“There is nothing in the data that we’ve seen that suggests that this aircraft is not safe,” said FAA administrator Michael P. Huerta.
Huerta, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Ray Conner, president and chief executive officer of Boeing, appeared at a Washington news conference to quell concerns raised by the incidents.
“We are concerned about recent events,” LaHood said. “And we are conducting a comprehensive review.”
All three officials emphasized that the new aircraft had undergone the most rigorous testing ever done of a passenger plane in the history of commercial aviation, including 200,000 hours of scrutiny before it received FAA approval.
“We have complete confidence in the 787 and so do our customers,” Conner said. “It’s important to emphasize that every new commercial airplane has issues.”
Conner said the concerns raised about the 787 were comparable to those that surfaced when Boeing introduced the 777 in the 1990s.
United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier flying the 787, has six such planes in service, according to the FAA.
A team of engineers and inspectors from the FAA and Boeing will conduct the review, which will focus on the design, manufacture and assembly of the 787’s critical systems. The team will focus on the plane’s electrical power and distribution system, in addition to looking at how the plane’s mechanical and electrical systems work together.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fire that occurred on Monday. There were no passengers or crew on board at the time of that fire.