Boeing allowed one-time ferry flight

WASHINGTON (WCIV) -{} Boeing has been granted permission to conduct a one-time ferry flight of a grounded 787 Dreamliner from Texas to Washington, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday.

The FAA said the plane would have a minimal crew, which would be tasked with continuously monitoring the battery's status. The crew would have to land immediately if the flight computer displayed any battery-related messages.

Officials at Boeing Charleston issued a statement on the flight.

"While our work to determine the cause of the recent battery incidents continues in coordination with appropriate regulatory authorities and investigation agencies, we are confident - as is the FAA - that the 787 is safe to operate for this activity. Safety of the crew on board is our top priority. The ferry airplane, Line 43 has been in Texas for painting as part of our production process and will be returning to Everett, Wash.," said Candy Eslinger.

Federal regulators said Tuesday they were evaluating a Boeing request to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliners, which were grounded nearly three weeks ago after a battery fire in one plane and smoke in another.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the request, but officials declined to elaborate.

Boeing officials didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. Boeing's request to the FAA was first reported by The Seattle Times.

A lithium ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 caught fire on Jan. 7 while the plane was parked at Logan International Airport in Boston. Nine days later battery problems forced an emergency landing by an All Nippon Airways 787 in Japan.

All 50 of the planes are grounded worldwide while investigations continue in the U.S. and Japan.