On Friday, the Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) met with Federal Aviation Administration officials regarding major problems with lithium-ion batteries in the 787 Dreamliners. The planes have been grounded since mid-January after two jets experienced battery failures. One plane in Boston had a fire on the ground and another one in Japan had a smoldering battery. No one was seriously hurt in either incident, but officials are determined not to allow the planes to be used until the battery problem has been fixed.
A FAA spokeswoman, Laura J. Brown said, “The safety of the flying public is our top priority and we won’t allow the 787 to return to commercial service until we’re confident that any proposed solution has addressed the battery failure risks.”
During the meeting, the Boeing executives, led by the Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner, outlined their latest proposals on how to keep the lithium-ion batteries from overheating as well as how to vent smoke or hazardous gas from the plane. Regardless, it did not seem the meeting was going to speed up the grounding order for these 787s.
Although safety investigators have not figured out exactly what is wrong with the batteries, Boeing is looking for the FAA to approve these fixes. The FAA did announce they would allow Boeing to conduct test flights to see how the fixes are working and to make any needed adjustments. Boeing notes…