FAA review says Boeing 787 Dreamliner is safe

Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:09pm EDT
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By Eric Beech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Boeing (BA.N: Quote) 787 Dreamliner, grounded for months last year after battery overheating problems, is soundly designed and safe to fly, a joint review by the planemaker and the Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday.

The review, which was initiated by the FAA after a battery fire aboard a 787 in Boston in January 2013, encompassed the entire plane, not specifically the battery issue.

"They found that the 787 met its intended level of safety. The plane's fundamentally sound design and the processes the FAA and Boeing had in place to detect and correct issues that emerged were the underpinnings for that conclusion," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a telephone news briefing.

He said the review team did find some problems with Boeing's

manufacturing process and the way the FAA oversees it. He said the agency was "moving quickly to address those problems."

The recommendations called for the FAA to improved its oversight of Boeing's parts suppliers, including those outside the United States, and urged the company "to ensure suppliers are fully aware of their responsibilities."

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner welcomed the review and said the company had already taken significant steps to implement the recommendations.

"The findings validate our confidence in both the design of the airplane and the disciplined process used to identify and correct in-service issues as they arise," Conner said in a statement.   Continued...

A 787 Dreamliner being built for India Air is pictured at South Carolina Boeing final assembly building in North Charleston, South Carolina December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Randall Hill