WASHINGTON – Federal regulators said Monday they are pleased with the changes Boeing has made to production of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, paving the way for the company to resume deliveries.
American Airlines said it expects to take delivery of its first new 787 in more than 15 months on Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement confirmed the reports late last month and came days after the agency’s acting chief met with safety inspectors who oversee Boeing.
The FAA said acting administrator Billy Nolen wanted to know what steps Boeing has taken to fix manufacturing problems and ensure the independence of Boeing employees working with regulators.
Production of the large, twin-aisle 787 has been plagued by several issues, including gaps between panels in the carbon composite skin and the use of unapproved titanium parts from a supplier in Italy. Those problems have prevented Boeing from delivering any of the planes for most of the past two years, and about 120 have been parked while Boeing tried to fix the production process.
The FAA said it will inspect each aircraft before it is approved for delivery.
American Airlines was particularly affected by the delivery disruption. Earlier this year, it delayed some planned international flights because Boeing was unable to deliver planes on time.
American said Monday that its newest 787 will come from a Boeing factory in South Carolina and is expected to start carrying passengers “within the next few weeks.” American said it will build 47,787 assets in its fleet, with another 42 on order.
Shares of Arlington, Virginia-based Boeing Co. gained less than 1% on Monday after rising almost 4% earlier in the trading session.