from wall street journal:
By ANDY PASZTOR
Federal regulators may be ready to give Boeing Co. BA +0.83%the green light for airborne tests of proposed battery fixes for its 787 Dreamliner as early as next week, according to people familiar with the details, though the actual flights aren't likely to come that quickly.
If the Federal Aviation Administration gives the go-ahead for testing in early March, these people said, Boeing has told some airline customers the grounded jets could resume carrying passengers in a matter of weeks, perhaps even by the end of the month. In submitting its package of proposed changes for the malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries, Boeing initially asked the FAA to get the go-ahead for flight tests to commence around March 1, these people said.
But the FAA has balked at moving that fast, according to some knowledgeable people, and the timetable for flight tests remains fluid. Boeing's aggressive timetable for resuming regular flights also could be upset if the FAA has any major questions or concerns about the package of battery enhancements before or after the flight tests. Some industry officials project the Dreamliner won't be able to resume commercial service until April or later in the year.
By Gregory KarpTribune reporter
5:30 p.m. CST, February 26, 2013
Chicago-based Boeing Co. could be allowed by federal regulators to begin more test flights on the grounded 787 Dreamliner early next week, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
(Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration said it is not close to approving test flights of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner with a proposed fix for the plane's troubled batteries, denying news reports that such tests could start as early as next week.
"Reports that we are close to allowing 787 test flights are completely inaccurate," spokeswoman Laura Brown said on Tuesday in an email to Reuters.
Boeing declined to comment.
Batteries overheated on two jets last month, prompting regulators to ground the 50 Dreamliners in service worldwide. The grounding saddled Boeing (BA.N) with mounting costs and airlines with expensive planes that cannot be flown and in some cases are stranded far from their home airports.
Boeing proposed a multi-faceted fix for the battery system in a meeting with the FAA last week. The proposal included a stronger containment box, a battery with greater cooling capacity and other changes.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)