Dreamliner problems: Boeing likely to submit action plan

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is likely to submit a time-bound action plan to fix the perennial technical problems being faced by the Dreamliners in Air India's fleet to aviation regulator DGCA next week.

The US airplane manufacturer would submit this plan after being hauled up by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) two days ago over the continued engineering snags faced by the Boeing 787 Dreamliners, official sources said today.

Air India so far has 12 Dreamliners in its fleet out of the 27 it has ordered.

The sources said a team of Boeing officials have been categorically told that DGCA would be forced to take any action in the interest of flight safety if these issues were not resolved satisfactorily in a time-bound manner.

In a clear warning to the producers of the Dreamliners, DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar is understood to have reminded the American company that the Indian regulator had once grounded the entire new A-320 fleet of the erstwhile Indian Airlines in early 1990s on count of safety.

Since its induction two years ago till last month, Air India's Dreamliners have experienced 44 major engineering snags. Parliament was also informed few weeks ago that a total of 136 "minor" technical problems had occured in the fleet since its delivery began in September 2012.

The faults included nine counts of equipment failures, seven flight control issues, six cases of landing gear trouble, four of problems with navigational aids and three windshield cracks. Last year alone, the aircraft experienced 30 technical problems and there have been 13 such snags till February 24, according to official data.

DGCA told the Boeing team to submit a time-bound plan to fix the problems and submit a list of problems being faced by other airlines flying these aircraft along with the corrective measures taken.

The Indian regulator's move comes in the backdrop of the US regulator Federal Aviation Administration downgraded India's aviation safety ranking from Category-I to II.

Air India is also seeking compensation from Boeing for over three-year delay in delivery of the aircraft, global grounding of Dreamliners for four months last year and failure to meet "guaranteed performance standards" on various counts.

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