Air India's (AI) Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is likely to be back in service in the next couple of weeks after the US aviation regulator approved a revamped battery system for the aircraft. The B787 had been grounded by operators across the globe in January due to battery problems.
"Today's approval of battery system improvements for the 787 Dreamliner by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clears the way for Boeing and its customers to install the approved modifications and will lead to a return to service and resumption of new production deliveries," Boeing said.
"FAA approval clears the way for us and the airlines to begin the process of returning the 787 to flight," said Boeing chairman , president and CEO Jim McNerney.
A team of engineers from Boeing will be in India soon to start work to reset the new batteries on the six Dreamliners of AI. DGCA and AI engineers will work with the Boeing team. "After checks and tests, if these are found successful, DGCA will have to withdraw the order for grounding these planes," an official said. AI has already received the new battery kit.
"For 787s based and modified outside the United States, local regulatory authorities provide the final approval on return to service," Boeing said.
The American plane maker said the improved battery system included design changes to both prevent and isolate a fault should it occur. "In addition, improved production, operating and testing processes have been implemented."