Boeing asks FAA to allow Dreamliner test flights

NEW YORK Tue Feb 5, 2013 11:38am GMT

1 of 4. A Japan Airlines aircraft (above) approaches for landing as an All Nippon Airways' Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner plane parks on the tarmac at Haneda Airport in Tokyo February 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliner, suggesting the company is making progress in finding a solution to the battery problems that grounded the entire 787 fleet last month.

Boeing said it has submitted an application to conduct test flights, confirming a report in the Seattle Times. The newspaper reported that the FAA might grant permission as soon as Monday night, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The FAA said it is evaluating Boeing's request.

Boeing would test a potential fix for the problem that caused two batteries to burn on 787s last month, the paper said. But passenger flights would still be weeks if not months away, the paper said, citing two sources.

(Reporting By Alwyn Scott; Editing by Gary Hill and Ian Geoghegan)