FAA bears down on 787 programme as Dreamliners are grounded

If an airworthiness directive is issued it could cover almost 1,000 Boeing 787s
Boeing 787, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, FAA

US regulators are reportedly looking into potential problems in Boeing’s 787 programme after eight Dreamliners, including one from Etihad Airways, were grounded in late-August amid “manufacturing issues”.

Boeing said it notified regulators and airlines of two separate faults, including shims of the wrong size being installed on some aircraft and skin flatness specifications not being met in certain parts of some planes.

The issues stem from Boeing’s plant in South Carolina and if the FAA launches a full airworthiness directive it could cover almost 1,000 jets, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Such a directive would force airlines operating the Dreamliner to ground the jet and install fixes on the planes.

A spokesperson for the US manufacturer confirmed to Business Insider: "Boeing has identified two distinct manufacturing issues in the join of certain 787 aftbody fuselage sections, which, in combination, result in a condition that does not meet our design standards.”

Boeing said that while either of the manufacturing issues on their own would not have warranted aircraft groundings, both faults together mean the planes fail to meet Boeing’s own safety standards.

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