The Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

FAA Finds Boeing’s 787 Case Incomplete

May 15, 2022
The federal agency has returned a petition to restore the airworthiness certification for the wide-body aircraft, complicating Boeing’s effort to resume deliveries after a year-long suspension.

The Federal Aviation Administration has notified Boeing Co. that it will not approve its recent petition for an airworthiness certification for the 787 Dreamliner series, which would allow Boeing to resume 787 deliveries. Published reports indicate the agency called Boeing’s documentation of the situation incomplete and returned segments of it to the OEM for further revision.

Boeing's filing includes documentation and data showing its inspection and certification processes, to demonstrate that the aircraft complies with FAA standards. The presentation also shows inspection and repair plans for a number of 787 jets that have been flagged for production flaws.

FAA will make the final determination on Boeing’s compliance, and that decision is necessary before Boeing can resume deliveries of new 787 aircraft.

The petition was submitted in late April, about a year after FAA directed Boeing to correct a variety of structural defects discovered through various inspections and repairs.

Boeing halted deliveries of the twin-engine, wide-body 787 aircraft in mid-2021 in response to a variety of maintenance issues that had emerged over the preceding months. In September 2020, Boeing confirmed some faulty structural conditions on certain 787s, as well as defective fuselage skins – a problem first uncovered in 2019.

Reportedly, Boeing has over 100 completed 737 Dreamliners waiting to be delivered, which amounts to a significant loss to the organization.

In April, Boeing said it expected to resume 787 Dreamliner deliveries later this year, based on its petition to FAA around that time. However, FAA has identified multiple cases of missing information in Boeing’s petitions, and has returned these segments of the report back to Boeing for completion.

It’s unknown how the FAA’s action will affect the schedule for 787 deliveries.

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