The Japanese Transport Ministry on Tuesday revealed that they are taking steps to aid airlines forced to keep their Boeing 787 jets grounded. This is amidst reports that most airlines that have the Boeing 787 Dreamliners in their fleet will be forced to keep them grounded through April and May as it appears the troubled airplanes will not have their long-running battery issues resolved in the near future.
These measures include exempting the airlines from paying parking fees for 787s at Japanese airports, the ministry said. The ministry will also be suspending an international rule under which an airline loses slots allocated to it if it fails to use at least 80 percent of the slots in the preceding year. In addition to this, the ministry eased a requirement for the pilot’s ability to operate the aircraft safely. The current requirement was that an onboard ministry inspector should confirm the pilot’s operational capability once a year. Under the eased regulations, flight simulator training and other alternative measures will be allowed to help pilots maintain flight skills for the 787.
The ministry added that a Boeing Co. official will be coming over to brief the transport ministry on measures to prevent the recurrence of overheating by 787 batteries. The manufacturer has briefed the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on these safety measures last week. Aviation authorities all over the world have ordered airlines to ground all 787s after a Dreamliner operated by Japan’s All Nippon Airways made an emergency landing Jan. 16 at an airport in western Japan due to smoke in the cockpit.
[ via Kyodo News ]
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