787s are safe aircraft, company keeping watch: Boeing

New Delhi, Oct 30 (IANS) US aircraft major Boeing said Wednesday its latest technologically advanced B-787 is a safe aircraft and the company is keeping a watch over every problem faced by the plane.

"It's a machine, we did our best to design it, but something happens... But it is a safe airplane, it has never caused issues with the safety of passengers," said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, sales, Asia Pacific and India, Boeing Commercial Aircraft.

"We have a operations control centre in Seattle which monitors every 787 aircraft in flight. We get to know about what is happening to every 787 in flight."

Keskar was replying to a question over a large belly panel of an Air India's 787 which fell off as the plane landed at Bangalore airport on October 12. The aircraft had taken-off from New Delhi carrying around 150 passengers.

Keskar further said the belly panel which fell-off during landing at Bangalore airport never endangered the life of passengers and that a due investigation process is underway.

"There has been misinformation about the incident. First the access panel fell off at the Bangalore airport. Second, the panel has been recovered and third, it never put the lives of passengers at risk," Keskar said.

"It was an access panel, which can be removed to gain access or check something and not a pressurized panel."

Currently, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), along with Air India and Boeing have been probing the incident.

"We are in constant touch with Air India. We have have a (Boeing) team which is stationed here," Keskar said adding that not just Boeing officials but the company's vendors have been roped in to investigate such incident.

Boeing most modern aircraft has been facing many problems, in January, 2013, the DGCA grounded all Air India's 787 aircraft after an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) directive to stop operations of all such planes delivered so far to various airlines.

After nearly four months and modification to the aircraft's batteries the DGCA allowed the plane to be operated again.

Air India had booked 27 Boeing 787s in a mega-deal in 2006. It currently has nine planes delivered and the tenth aircraft is expected to be handed over by early next month. All the aircraft are expected to be delivered by 2016.

Even the deliveries of the aircraft was delayed due to certain design and production issues. The aircraft were scheduled to be delivered from September 2008 to October 2011.

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