WASHINGTON – The chief of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said in congressional testimony Tuesday that the agency has finished all necessary testing for approving a redesigned battery system for the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The remarks made by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation suggest the agency may soon give the green light for resuming commercial flights by 787s.
But Huerta stopped short of specifying the timing of approving the flights, saying the agency is reviewing the test data and will approve the modified battery system once it fulfills FAA requirements.
U.S. authorities have grounded the Boeing 787 fleet, which numbers 50 worldwide, since one operated by All Nippon Airways Co. made an emergency landing Jan. 16 at Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture due to smoke in the cockpit, nine days after a battery fire occurred on a parked Japan Airlines 787 in Boston.
Deborah Hersman, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Senate committee that the panel is still investigating the cause of the battery trouble.