Air India’s fleet of Dreamliner aircraft, grounded on the directions of US aviation regulator since January following battery-fire problem, is likely to resume operations by April-end.
“The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has approved Boeing’s plan to fix the battery-fire problem in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. Boeing engineers are expected to arrive here by the end of this month and fix the lithium ion battery packages,” said Arun Mishra, Director General of country’s civil aviation regulator, DGCA.
Air India can put these Dreamliner aircraft into service by the end of April, after tests on the lithium ion battery packages are successfully carried out by Boeing, he said.
According to sources, it would take about a week for the new battery kit to be installed in each of the six Dreamliners which Air India has.
The US aircraft manufacturer has developed new battery kits for the Dreamliners, which were tested by the FAA and it took three to four weeks to FAA to complete the tests and certify the kit.
The American aircraft manufacturer had also informed the airlines in seven countries, which have grounded all the 50 Boeing 787s since January, about the FAA approval.
The 50 Dreamliners, which have been delivered so far to airlines in India, Chile, Ethiopia, Japan, Poland, Qatar and the US, were grounded after two battery-fire incidents in January.