Japan plans extra measures for Dreamliner: report

Japan plans to impose additional safety requirements on Japanese airlines when it allows them to resume flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is expected to lift a worldwide flight ban within weeks and the Nikkei business daily said Japan's transport ministry is likely to fall into line after the FAA's official announcement.

All of the 50 Boeing 787 planes in service around the world were grounded in mid-January after a series of overheating problems with the lithium-ion battery system on the aircraft.

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The transport ministry is to require Dreamliner operators to introduce new safety measures, including remote monitoring of battery data such as voltage.

It will also call for more frequent battery inspections, up from the current rate of about once every two years.

Airlines will have to ensure that the battery system has been properly modified and carry out test flights before returning 787s to commercial service.

With the cause of the problem still uncertain, safety concerns linger, the Nikkei said, adding that the ministry was seeking to address fears by imposing the additional safety measures.

Immediate confirmation of the report was not available.

The grounding of Dreamliners came after a battery fire on a parked JAL 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport and an incident in which fumes from a battery forced the emergency landing of an ANA-operated plane in Japan.

by Kerry Sheridan © 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Apr 19, 2013