Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Japan Sets More Rigorous Standards for Resumption of 787 Flights. What Are Passengers to Think?

First, the FAA had to be nudged by the Japanese into grounding the Boeing BA -1.02% 787 after two batteries dangerously overheated – with one actually catching fire – on two different Japanese airliners.  Then there was criticism from the NTSB that the FAA’s original certification of the 787 batteries did not meet minimum industry standards.  Now, news that the Japanese transport ministry has taken the unusual step of issuing more stringent requirements for resumption of 787 flights.  In addition to the changes mandated by the FAA for the APU battery, the battery charger and the battery enclosure, the Japanese are also requiring their airlines to install battery monitoring systems to monitor battery performance and to institute an inspection program to ensure the effectiveness of the battery changes.  These additional precautions would only apply to JAL and ANA, and not to any other airlines flying 787s including United, the only US operator with a 787 fleet.

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