The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will issue final approvals for all individual Boeing 787 aircraft, it announced on February 15, 2022.
Production of the 787 Dreamliner was suspended for the second time in May 2021 due to manufacturing issues with the jets.
Typically, Boeing is able to issue airworthiness certificates for each of its aircraft itself. However, now the FAA has said it wants final sign off on each 787 Dreamliner before it is delivered to customers.
“The FAA today informed Boeing that the agency will retain the authority to issue airworthiness certificates for all Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft,” the agency said in a statement.
“This will allow the agency to confirm the effectiveness of measures Boeing has undertaken to improve the 787 manufacturing process.”
In a statement quoted by various outlets, Boeing said: “We respect the FAA’s role as our regulator, and we will continue to work transparently through their detailed and rigorous processes. We will continue to engage with the FAA to ensure we meet their expectations and all applicable requirements.”
The FAA’s statement said it will continue to perform the final inspections on new 787 Dreamliners until:
Boeing’s quality control and manufacturing processes consistently produce 787s that meet FAA design standards
Boeing has a robust plan for the re-work that it must perform on a large volume of new 787s in storage
Boeing’s delivery processes are stable
The move may well slow the delivery process further. Customer American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) has already changed its summer flight schedule as a result of the delays and has deferred deliveries of some 787-9 aircraft.
The close relationship between Boeing and the FAA came under scrutiny following the crashes of the two 737 MAX aircraft.
When the MAX was re-cleared for deliveries, the FAA also retained the authority to issue airworthiness certificates for each aircraft.