Jan. 11 - The Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration stand behind the safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a press conference, but the U.S. government is concerned and will launch a comprehensive review of the plane after a growing list of incidents, the latest being a cracked cockpit window and oil leak on two separate flights. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Boeing Dreamliner 787 gets a vote of confidence from the U.S government - with a caveat. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he would still board a 787, but: SOUNDBITE: U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY RAY LAHOOD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are concerned about recent events involving Boeing 787. That's why today we are announcing that we are conducting a comprehensive review of the design and production of the Boeing 787." The latest safety events are a cracked cockpit window on Friday and oil leaking from a different plane. And that follows separate plane with brake problems, oil leaks, and a fire - all in one week. Ray Conner, chief of Boeing's Commercial airplane division, says the plane maker is taking these incidents seriously. SOUNDBITE: RAY CONNER, CEO, BOEING COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE DIVISION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We welcome any opportunity to further assure people outside of the industry about the integrity of the airplane and the processes that bring them to life but it's important to emphasize every new commercial airplane has issues as they enter service and none of these in service issues have ever seen thus far alters our confidence in the 787. We are fully committed to resolving any issue that affects the reliability of our airplanes." But assurances are not enough, so the Federal Aviation Administration is ordering a comprehensive review, says administrator Michael Huerta. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL HUERTA, ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are going to put an emphasis on the electrical systems of the airplane. What this included is components such as batteries and power distribution panels. We will also look at how the electrical and the mechanical systems of the airplane interact with one another." Boeing is under close scrutiny because the Dreamliner is the first passenger aircraft to use carbon-composite material. Airlines like it because it helps them cut fuel costs by 20 percent and even with this week's problems - most have voiced little if any concern.