Thursday, June 06, 2019

US alert for Dreamliners: 23 Air India Boeing 787s need to be modified over 5 years, no grounding


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New Delhi: The alert for potential malfunction in braking and steering functions of certain models of Boeing 787 issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration applies to 23 Dreamliners (B787s) of Air India (AI). However, AI says this will not mean grounding of these planes as the required modifications do not affect safety and need to be made over five years. The airline stresses its Dreamliners — the workhorse for flights to Europe, far East and Australia — are perfectly safe to fly.

“The FAA airworthiness directive (AD) has a service bulletin (SB) which gives us a list of components that have to be replaced. This SB gives us a five-year period to comply. We will not wait for five years and we will start right now. As soon as the spares come, we will start replacing and modifying the planes,” said a senior AI official.

The airline plans to take up the job for each plane during each of the 23 B787’s next “C check” — a heavy maintenance check carried out every 1.5-2 years in a hangar during which a large number of components are checked. When the spares are taken out for checks, AI will replace the parts that need to be changed as per the FAA SB.

“We will give a complete schedule of C checks that need to be carried out for these 23 Dreamliners to Boeing and ask them to ensure that the spare parts that need to be changed are given to us in time for the same. We are now writing to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also on this issue,” said the AI official.

AI stresses its Dreamliners are perfectly safe to fly. “There are no safety concerns. They have been flying with us for all these years. FAA has done some investigation and found certain areas that could potentially see a snag. Accordingly, they have issued an AD but they also feel the changes mandated can be carried out over five years. We are not going to wait for that long and do it much before that,” said the official.
06/06/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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