WASHINGTON -- Boeing CEO Jim McNerney is sure his company is very close to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back flying again.

We have a high degree of confidence in the technical solution we are testing right now with the FAA, McNerney said Thursday. I think it will be sooner than later.

Boeing started flight testing a solution to the 787's battery problems Monday. Those problems led regulators to ground the plane in January. McNerney expects the tests to conclude in a few days and said the data should be conclusive enough to convince regulators to let the plane fly again.

He called the grounding a frustrating experience but said regulators are putting safety first.

They have the best interest of the flying public in mind, McNerney said.

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