Cantwell Statement on FAA’s Clearance of Dreamliner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a redesign to Boeing 787 battery system and cleared the aircraft for flight.

This is very positive news for Boeing and the region,” said Cantwell. “It means more planes will be delivered to customers, and airlines can order more 787s. Lots of hard work by engineers went into this fix, and they deserve significant credit for returning the plane to flight.”                                                                                                               

Earlier this week at an aviation hearing, Senator Cantwell questioned Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta about the status of the FAA’s review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s battery system. Huerta reported to Cantwell on Tuesday that Boeing has completed its 20 needed tests and provided documentation, which the FAA was reviewing. Huerta added that the FAA was concurrently reviewing the original Extended Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPs) certification which allowed the 787 to fly up to three hours from the nearest airport.

Today, the FAA approved the plane for flight and renewed the ETOPs certification.

At the hearing on Tuesday, Cantwell highlighted the significance of the ongoing review process to Washington state and the nation.

“So Mr. Chairman, I look forward to receiving these final reports and recommendations by all entities,” Cantwell said Tuesday. “And like everyone else we want these planes to return safely to flight. And yes there are many people in the state of Washington, over 85,000 people directly or indirectly, thousands of others indirectly as part of the supply chain, I can guarantee you they want to get it right.”

Huerta told Cantwell that he will personally make the decision on whether to return the 787 to flight. “It was my decision to ground the fleet and I would be making the recommendation going forward,” he said.