Boeing explains battery fix to Japan regulators
BY ELAINE KURTENBACH Associated Press
Friday, March 01, 2013
3/01/13 at 4:22 AM
TOKYO - Boeing CEO Ray Conner met with Japan's transport minister and other officials in Tokyo on Thursday to explain his company's proposal for resolving problems with the 787 Dreamliner's lithium-ion batteries that have kept the aircraft grounded for over a month.
Conner met with Akihiro Ota, who heads the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and with the director general of the Civil Aviation Bureau to explain the proposed solution to the problem of the batteries overheating.
"I just want to reiterate that the 787 is still the game-changing aircraft it is meant to be," Conner told reporters between meetings in Tokyo. He would not give details of Boeing's plan but said it had come up with a solution "that addresses all probable causes of the incidents in the aircraft."
"It is not an interim solution. This is a permanent solution," Conner said. "We are very hopeful that we will get the aircraft back in the air very soon."
Conner said Boeing was not at odds with the GS Yuasa, the Japanese maker of the batteries, over the fix.
Connor met earlier with All Nippon Airways, Boeing's launch customer with 17 of the 787s, said ANA spokeswoman Megumi Tezuka. She said the contents of the discussion were confidential.
A staffer at Japan Airlines' headquarters in Tokyo said he could not confirm if Conner had already met with JAL executives. JAL owns seven of the aircraft.
Dreamliners were grounded after an overheated battery aboard an ANA 787 domestic flight forced an emergency landing in Japan on Jan. 16. Investigators are still probing the cause of that event, and of a Jan. 7 fire that erupted in an auxiliary power unit battery of a JAL 787 about a half-hour after the plane landed at Boston's Logan International Airport.
Boeing's plan, presented to U.S. regulators last week, calls for revamping the batteries to prevent potential short-circuiting from spreading from any one battery cell to others.
Original Print Headline: Boeing explains battery fix to Japanese
Several of All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787s sit at Haneda airport in Tokyo. Boeing Co. CEO Ray Conner met with Japan's transport minister Thursday in Tokyo to explain his company's proposal for resolving problems with the jet's batteries.KOJI SASAHARA/Associated Press