NTSB hearings designed to grill Boeing on battery issues

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 11 at 9:03 AM

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is holding its first of two Boeing 787 related public events Thursday to discuss the future of lithium-ion battery technology use.

The event, which continues through Friday in Washington D.C., focuses on “the design, development and performance of lithium ion batteries; regulations and standards related to manufacturing, use and transport of the batteries; and the application and safety aspects of lithium battery technology in various transportation modes.”

Boeing is the first to implement the battery technology on a commercial airplane, and it has been a rocky start. The NTSB continues to investigation a January 7 battery fire on board a Japan Airlines 787. 
At a hearing later this month, the NTSB and a panel of technical experts will grill witnesses, including
Boeing employees, FAA officials and a series of outside experts to try and determine a root cause of the battery fire.

Analysts estimate that the FAA will then sign off on Boeing's new battery design and allow airlines to begin flying the Dreamliner by late May.

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