On July 17, Boeing told reporters it was “very close” to restarting 787 deliveries.
The FAA referred questions about the approval to Boeing. “We do not comment on ongoing certifications,” the agency said.
Boeing did not confirm the approval Friday, but said it will “continue to work transparently with the FAA and our customers to resume 787 deliveries.”
Boeing has faced production problems with the 787 for more than two years. In September 2020, the FAA said it was “investigating manufacturing defects” on approximately 787 aircraft.
After two fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, the FAA promised to scrutinize Boeing more closely and give Boeing less responsibility for certifying the planes.
Boeing halted deliveries of the 787 after raising concerns about the FAA’s proposed inspection method. The FAA previously issued two airworthiness directives to address manufacturing issues for in-service aircraft and identified a new issue in July 2021.
Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said on an investor call this week that 120 of the 787s are in inventory and “we are making progress in completing the necessary rework to prepare them for delivery.” Boeing is “producing at very low prices and we will continue to do so until supplies recover, gradually returning to 5 aircraft per month over time.”
The plane maker had resumed deliveries only in March 2021 after a five-month hiatus without further suspension. Approval camera on Friday after lengthy discussions with the FAA.
The regulator said it wanted Boeing to “have a solid plan for the rework it needs to do on the large volume of new 787s in storage” and to ensure “Boeing’s delivery processes are stable.”
The FAA said in February that it would retain authority to issue airworthiness certificates until it was satisfied that “Boeing’s quality control and manufacturing processes consistently produce 787s that meet FAA design standards.”
The agency’s administrator at the time, Steve Dixon, told Reuters in February that the FAA needed a “systematic overhaul of its manufacturing processes” from Boeing.
In January, Boeing announced $3.5 billion in delivery charges due to 787 delays and customer rebates, and another $1 billion in abnormal production costs stemming from manufacturing defects and related repairs and inspections.