WASHINGTON, D.C., 22 April 2013. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials have approved Boeing's modified 787 battery system design, which is said to address risks at the battery cell level, battery level, and aircraft level.
FAA personnel intend next week to issue instructions for Boeing 787 operators to make changes to the aircraft, as well as to publish in the Federal Register the final directive that will allow the 787 to return to service with the battery system modifications. The directive will take effect upon publication, enabling 787 airliners to return to service.
“A team of FAA certification specialists observed rigorous tests we required Boeing to perform and devoted weeks to reviewing detailed analysis of the design changes to reach this decision,” explains FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
The FAA will require airlines that operate the 787 to install containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary system batteries, as well as to replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components.
To assure proper installation of the new design, the FAA will closely monitor modifications of the aircraft in the U.S. fleet. The FAA will stage teams of inspectors at the modification locations. Any return to service of the modified 787 will only take place after the FAA accepts the work.
“These changes to the 787 battery will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers,” says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The FAA will continue to support other authorities around the world as they finalize their own acceptance procedures.