On July 17, Boeing told reporters it was “very close” to resuming 787 deliveries.
The FAA cited questions about the approval to Boeing. “We do not comment on ongoing certifications,” the agency said.
Boeing did not confirm the approval Friday, but said it would “continue to work transparently with the FAA and our customers toward resuming 787 deliveries.”
Boeing has faced production issues with the 787 for more than two years. In September 2020, the FAA said it was “investigating manufacturing defects” in some 787 jetliners.
After two fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, the FAA pledged to investigate Boeing more closely and assign less responsibilities for aircraft certification to Boeing.
Boeing suspended deliveries of the 787 after the FAA raised concerns about its proposed inspection method. The FAA previously issued two airworthiness directives to address issues with the production of in-service airplanes and identified a new issue in July 2021.
Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said on an investor call this week that it had 120 of the 787s in inventory and was “progressing in completing the resale needed to prepare them for delivery.” Boeing is “producing at very low rates and we will continue to do so until deliveries resume, gradually returning to 5 airplanes per month over time.”
The planner resumed deliveries only in March 2021 after a gap of five months before stopping again. The approval came on Friday after lengthy discussions with the FAA.
The regulator said it wants Boeing to “ensure it has a strong plan to rework should it perform large quantities of the new 787 in storage” and that “Boeing’s delivery processes are stable.”
The FAA said in February that it would retain the right to issue certificates of airworthiness until it is convinced that “Boeing’s quality control and manufacturing processes consistently produce 787s that meet FAA design standards.” “
The agency’s then-administrator Steve Dixon told Reuters in February that the FAA needed “a systematic improvement to their production processes” from Boeing.
In January Boeing disclosed $3.5 billion in charges due to 787 delivery delays and customer concessions, and another $1 billion in abnormal production costs resulting from production flaws and related repairs and inspections.