Thursday 17 January 2013

FAA Orders U.S airlines to stop operating the Boeing 787

Aviation Nigeria

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered U.S. airlines to stop operating the Boeing 787, after a series of battery and fuel system failures have called into question the airworthiness of the newly developed composite aircraft.

The latest incident, an emergency landing in Japan after an apparent battery failure, forced the regulatory agency to act, officials said in a statement Wednesday.

"As a result of an in-flight, Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations," the FAA statement reads.

"Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe," the statement continues.

The directive effectively only targets one U.S. carrier, United, which operates six of the aircraft, the FAA says, though other non-U.S. airlines also fly the 787 into American airports.

On Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said "I believe this plane is safe, and I would have absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight," the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered all European carriers to ground the Boeing 787 on Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Qatar Airlines also announced Thursday that they would ground their fleet of 5 787s pending the FAA review as well as one by Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority, Reuters reports. 

Additionally, Air India has announced plans to ground their fleet of 6 787s until the FAA's investigation (and that of the Indian aviation authority) gives the all clear, according to the Associated Press.

"Now that the FAA has said that they want to check (the) electrical system in all the planes we will ground them...How serious is the problem, how long it will take, we'll know only in a couple of days," Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters.

From the Associated Press, 01/16/2013 10:17 pm EST


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