On July 17, Boeing told reporters it was “very close” to restarting 787 deliveries.
The FAA addressed questions about the approval for Boeing. “We do not comment on current certifications,” the company said.
Boeing did not confirm the approval on Friday, but said it would “continue to work transparently with the FAA and our customers to resume 787 deliveries.”
Boeing has had production problems with the 787 for more than two years. In September 2020, the FAA said it was “investigating manufacturing defects” on some 787 jetliners.
After two fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, the FAA vowed to scrutinize Boeing more closely and give Boeing less responsibility for aircraft certification.
Boeing suspended deliveries of the 787 after the FAA raised concerns about its proposed inspection method. The FAA identified a new problem and issued two airworthiness directives in July 2021 to address manufacturing issues for the in-service aircraft.
Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said on an investor call this week that it has an inventory of 120 787s and is “making progress in completing the necessary rework to prepare them for delivery.” Boeing is “producing at a very low cost, and we will continue to do so until deliveries resume, gradually returning to 5 aircraft per month over time.”
The planemaker resumed deliveries only in March 2021 after a five-month hiatus before ceasing again. The approval came Friday after lengthy discussions with the FAA.
The regulator said Boeing “has a robust program of rework that requires large-scale operations on new 787 storage” and that “Boeing’s delivery processes are sustainable”.
The FAA said in February that it would retain authority to issue certificates of airworthiness until it is confident that “Boeing’s quality control and manufacturing processes continue to produce 787s that meet FAA design standards.”
The agency’s then-administrator, Steve Dixon, told Reuters in February that the FAA wanted from Boeing “a systematic solution to their manufacturing processes.”
In January Boeing disclosed a $3.5 billion charge due to 787 delivery delays and customer concessions, plus $1 billion in extraordinary manufacturing costs caused by manufacturing defects and related repairs and inspections.