Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Boeing CEO confident in 787 battery redesign

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
Published:
WASHINGTON — Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said his company is “very close” to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back flying again.
Two incidents involving batteries on 787s led the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators in other countries to ground the planes in January. Boeing is testing a redesign of the battery system.

“We have a high degree of confidence in the technical solution we are testing right now with the FAA,” McNerney said at an aviation conference Thursday. “I think it will be sooner than later.”

The Chicago-based conducted a test flight with the redesigned battery Monday. McNerney expects the tests to conclude in a few days and said the data should be conclusive enough to convince regulators to let the plane fly again.

He called the grounding a “frustrating experience” but said regulators are putting safety first.

“They have the best interest of the flying public in mind,” McNerney said.

McNerney has made few public comments to date about the 787 problems. Thursday’s remarks came before a friendly crowd at U.S. Chamber of Commerce aviation summit.

The 787 was just one of several topics McNerney was asked about by Thomas J. Donohue, the head of the chamber.

Regarding the economy, McNerney said: “It’s sort of bumping along. Very slow growth in the United States. Not fast enough to generate job growth.”

Boeing, however, is doing better than the overall economy because airlines worldwide are replacing older planes with new, more fuel efficient jets. Purchases by developing countries are particularly strong, he said.

Boeing and European rival Airbus dominate the market for commercial aircraft, but McNerney expects to someday see strong competition from Chinese aircraft manufacturers. They have the money and technology to catch up with the two leaders, the Boeing CEO said. China also has a large enough — and growing — domestic market to buy the new planes, McNerney said.

The United States faces internal problems when it comes to aviation.

“This country has an infrastructure crisis,” McNerney said.

Aviation is expected to grow in the next two decades but McNerney said not enough is being done to improve airports and air traffic control systems. Particularly, he said, the government needs to sort out funding issues surrounding a new satellite-based navigation system called NextGen.

The system promises to reduce congestion in the sky and let airlines fly more-direct routes, saving time and fuel. Airlines, however, have balked at spending the millions of dollars necessary to upgrade their cockpits until the government has upgraded its own system.
“It’s going to slow down the growth in this country if we don’t’ get ahead of this,” McNerney warned.

Story tags » 787Management

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup