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'Dreamliner will operate only after FAA, DGCA green signal'

New Delhi, Jan 17, 2013 (PTI) 11:53 IST
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh today said the grounded fleet of Boeing Dreamliner aircraft would be allowed to fly only after clearance by US regulator Federal Aviation Administration and the DGCA.

"Certainly, we will not fly the Dreamliner until the FAA and our own DGCA give clearance," he told reporters here.

The Minister's statement came after national carrier Air India grounded all its six Boeing-787 Dreamliner planes after a global directive by FAA to stop operations of all the 50 such planes delivered so far to various airlines.

On the extent of seriousness of the problem with the aircraft, Singh said, "How long it will take, we will all know only in a couple of days but there are about 50 dreamliners in operations for more than a year, therefore more than 50,000 miles. So let us hope they can find a solution soon."

The Minister said he had talked to the FAA and the US regulator has said that "it will check all the planes, entire system because of this battery problem".

He said the DGCA was constantly in touch with the FAA and "what I think and what I know is that Boeing has to come with a plan for the FAA to test all the electrical system and batteries."

"When that plan comes up, we will also test them but basically first FAA has to approve that they are safe to fly," Singh said.

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