News, views and contacts from the global Aerospace industry
 

Europe and other nations join US in grounding Boeing 787 Dreamliners

17 January 2013

Boeing 787

Europe, Japan and India have followed the US in issuing a grounding order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners due to safety concerns, after battery problems caused Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) jet to make an emergency landing.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered its airlines to temporarily ground the Dreamliner.

It had also informed carriers that in order to resume flying, they would have to demonstrate the lithium ion batteries were safe.

However, Boeing stated that it was confident the 787 was safe and reiterated its support to the FAA in finding answers as quickly as possible.

This is the first order issued by the FAA against a US aircraft since the grounding of McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1979.

The European Aviation Safety Agency said it was monitoring international safety investigations of the 787 and was in regular contact with the FAA.

Currently, Poland's LOT Airline is the only carrier that is operating the Dreamliner in Europe.

"Boeing stated that it was confident the 787 was safe and reiterated its support to the FAA in finding answers as quickly as possible."

Japan announced that the grounding was for an indefinite period, while India has grounded all the six jets operated by Air India, a state-owned carrier.

ANA passenger flight from Ube to Tokyo had to make an emergency landing after a cockpit message displayed battery problems.

Following this incident, ANA, which has 17 Dreamliners, and Japan Airlines, which operates seven, have parked their fleet.

However, British Airways, which expects to receive its first 787 a few months later, has stood by the jetliner and intends to go ahead with its order for 24 aeroplanes.

A few days ago, FAA ordered a comprehensive review of the design and manufacturing of the Dreamliner, following a series of incidents, which included a crack in the window on the pilot's side of the cockpit, an oil leak from a generator inside an engine, a brake problem, spillage of fuel, and an electrical problem that led to fire onboard an aircraft.

Made primarily of carbon composites, the lighter weight 787 features improved aerodynamics and advanced engine technology has been designed to use 20% less fuel than similar aircraft.

To date, Boeing has delivered 50 Dreamliner aircraft and has received around 800 firm orders.


Image: US, Europe, Japan and India have grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners due to safety hazard. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.