Dreamliner woes just teething troubles, says regulator

  • Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 26, 2014 23:04 IST

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner may have caused a huge headache for Air India (AI) for the constant glitches that have hampered its performance, but it’s still faring better than other jets, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“Much serious problems were experienced at the time of induction of the Airbus A320 aircraft, which was a novel design feature of late 1980s,” said a presentation made by DGCA officials to the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council — a commregulatorittee appointed by the aviation ministry to advise on safety issues.

“As and when innovative design or technology is introduced/upgraded, it needs time to stabilise to address teething problems. B787 engineering issues are expected to stabilise by end-2014 or mid-2015,” according to the DGCA presentation, accessed by HT.

The A320 was inducted into the erstwhile Indian Airlines fleet in July 1989 while the Dreamliner was inducted into AI’s fleet in September 2012.

The DGCA presentation said that between July 1989 and February 1990, there were 53 incidents in the A320 compared 58 incidents in 18 months (September 2012–March 2014) for the Dreamliner.

“The A320 has a proven track record with 99.8% operational reliability. An A320 family aircraft takes off or lands every 2.2 seconds somewhere in the world. With nearly 6,000 aircraft in operation with almost 320 operators, the A320 is the world most popular single-aisle aircraft – and also India’s aircraft of choice,” an Airbus spokesperson said.

Boeing did not offer comments for the story.

“Boeing has informed that flight controls and electrical power are major concern worldwide. However, for AI, navigation system is also of concern. To address these issues, Boeing has planned software and hardware changes. These changes also include internal circuit modification of flight control computer,” according to the presentation.

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