SEATTLE - KING 5 News has learned that the FAA is not yet ready to greenlight Boeing’s plan for a 787 fix. A source familiar with negotiations between Boeing and the FAA says the sides are still trying to figure out if Boeing should be given credit for certain battery tests already performed.
FAA approval, which was hoped for as early as today, is now not expected until next week at the earliest.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reported in an interview with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that FAA approval is going to take a while.
“I’m going to ask a lot of questions,” LaHood told the newspaper. “I have made it very clear that I want a thorough review.”
The FAA is part of the transportation department.
Another source tells KING 5 News that the FAA is on board with the concept, but Boeing’s solution will have to be “comprehensive.”
Earlier this week, Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes told an investor conference in New York that once the fix, and a flight test plan were approved, the company would move quickly to retrofit the worlds fleet of some 50 grounded jets, and begin making changes to dozens of jets already built and awaiting delivery on the company’s Everett, Wash. flightline.
Boeing has proposed making changes to the 787’s lithium-ion batteries. Those changes include separating the eight individual cells inside the battery with a ceramic heat absorbing material to protect adjacent cells, and providing better thermal and electrical monitoring. The changes would also include a strong containment box that would send any smoke from an overheating battery cell directly overboard.