EVERETT, Wash., 15 March 2013. Boeing (NYSE:BA) executives reveal that improvements designed to add several layers of safety features to the lithium-ion batteries on 787 commercial jetliners are in production and should be ready for initial installation within the next few weeks.
The modifications include enhanced production and operating processes, improved battery design features, and a new battery enclosure. Battery system changes include alterations to the battery itself, the battery charging unit, and the battery installation.
These improvements are undergoing extensive certification testing. Operators are expected to resume commercial flights with the 787 as soon as testing is complete and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other international regulators grant final approval.
"As soon as our testing is complete and we obtain regulatory approvals, we will be positioned to help our customers implement these changes and begin the process of getting their 787s back in the air," says Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. "Passengers can be assured that we have completed a thorough review of the battery system and made numerous improvements that we believe will make it a safer, more reliable battery system."
The FAA has approved Boeing's certification plan, which describes the discrete testing needed to demonstrate that the battery improvements address the conditions laid out in the Airworthiness Directive that suspended 787 commercial operations.