After years of delays, Boeing 787 Dreamliner gets FAA certification

After years of delays, Boeing 787 Dreamliner gets FAA certification
EVERETT, Wash. - After years of setbacks and delays, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was certified Friday by the U.S. government as safe and ready to fly passengers.

The official FAA certification was announced at a ceremony at the Boeing site in Everett, just a few weeks before the first scheduled delivery of the airliner to Japan's All Nippon Airways on Sept. 28. The aircraft was also certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The Dreamliner, a revolutionary new type of plane, promises to raise the bar for fuel economy and environmental sensitivity through the use of new technologies such as lightweight composites and advanced propulsion technology.

With 827 orders for the plane on the books, the Dreamliner may be the most hotly anticipated aircraft in the history of the Boeing Co.

The airliner also is nearly three years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget, by some estimates, due to problems with the supply chain, contractors, a labor strike and a host of other factors, experts said.

But all that was in the past on Friday as 200 employees and VIPs attended the FAA certification ceremony as the first Boeing 787 was on display and the second Dreamliner made a flyby.

Some 46 of the Boeing 787s are nearing completion and the pace of deliveries could accelerate soon.

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt presented the certification, which verifies that the 787 has been tested and found to be in compliance with all federal regulations.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh said, "Certification is a milestone that validates what we have promised the world since we started talking about this airplane. This airplane embodies the hopes and dreams of everyone fortunate enough to work on it. Their dreams are now coming true."

"This is truly a great airplane. From the advanced materials and innovative technologies to the improved passenger experience and unbeatable economics, the 787 really is a game-changing airplane," added Scott Fancher, Boeing's vice president and general manager of the 787 program.