Another day, another bit of bad news for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the airlines that fly the aircraft: The Federal Aviation Administration’s regulators have ordered U.S. airlines to temporarily ground any Dreamliner planes they fly, pending a further investigation into recent safety issues that have cropped up.
The FAA’s “emergency airworthiness directive” requires all Dreamliners to “temporarily cease operations,” citing a lithium ion battery that has been somewhat of an Achilles heel for the planes. A malfunctioning battery of that kind could’ve been the reason a All Nippon Airlines out of Japan had to make an emergency landing yesterday, notes the Los Angeles Times.
“Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe,” the agency said in a statement.
The agency adds that it’s going to be working hard to figure out a “corrective plan to allow the U.S. 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.”
Two Japanese airlines grounded their entire Dreamliner fleets yesterday amid safety concerns as well, but in the U.S. only United Airlines has any Dreamliners currently in the air, with six planes in its fleet.
The FAA also says it will let the rest of the airline world know its decisions so the international flying community “can take parallel action.”
Last night LOT Polish Airlines was supposed to send its initial Dreamliner flight with a big ceremony, to boot, from Chicago to Warsaw but that flight was grounded after the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered it to ground the plane.
“Even though our aircraft are airworthy and safe, which our inspection confirmed yesterday right before the flight to Chicago, we’ve decided out of concerns for the safety of passengers to have additional inspections,” said LOT’s Vice President, according to the Wall Street Journal.
FAA regulators ground all Boeing 787 Dreamliners [Los Angeles Times]