Last updated: 06:29 PM ET, Sun May 12 2013

Groups Cast Doubt on Dreamliner Fix, Request Two Hour Airport Limit

Features & Advice | U.S. Department of Transportation | Gretchen Kelly | May 12, 2013

While Boeing announced this week that it is now rolling 787 Dreamliners out of the factory at an increased production rate of seven per month to meet its more than 800 as-yet-unfilled orders of the aircraft, two passenger advocacy groups—FlyersRights.org and the Aviation Consumer Action Project have petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to confine the newly green-lighted aircraft to a two hour limit from the nearest airport for the safety of passengers and crew. 

"Our proposed actions are both urgent and necessary," said attorney Paul Hudson, leader of both organizations. "The 787 lithium ion batteries have a long history of overheating, catching fire, even exploding. This could easily bring down an airliner, especially if it was not within easy reach of an airport for an emergency landing," Hudson said. "Such batteries have been labeled as hazardous by the FAA and banned from being carried as cargo on most passenger jets. In one year of operations of 52,000 hours there have been several 787 battery failures versus one for every 10 million hours of predicted by Boeing. Adequate testing of the batteries haven't been done and the fire investigation is not finished," he added.

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