* Changes not finalized -paper
* Best-case scenario has flights resuming in March
Feb 6 Boeing Co is working on a series of
battery design changes designed to minimize fire risks on its
grounded 787 passenger jet and get the plane flying again as
soon as March, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Regulators grounded the 787 on Jan. 16 after a battery fire
in Boston and a second incident involving a battery on a flight
The newspaper, citing government and industry officials,
said Boeing was looking at changes within the battery to keep
heat or fire from spreading. Technical details have not yet been
finalized or approved, though, the paper's sources noted.
One source added that under a best-case scenario, passenger
flights could resume next month.
Boeing declined to comment on the report.
Some 50 Dreamliners have been grounded while investigators
try to solve the battery mystery, costing airlines tens of
millions of dollars already.
Earlier on Wednesday, the head of the U.S. National
Transportation Safety Board said it was "probably weeks away"
from completing its probe.
The NTSB is conducting the U.S. probe with help from Boeing,
battery maker GS Yuasa Corp of Japan, the Federal
Aviation Administration and battery experts from other U.S.
federal agencies. None of the agencies have identified what
caused the battery failures on the 250-passenger airliner.
Boeing this week asked the FAA for permission to conduct new
test flights of the 787, suggesting it is making progress in
finding a solution to the battery problems, but the government
agency has not yet announced a decision.
Earlier this week Japan Airlines Co Ltd said it
will talk to Boeing about compensation for the grounding of the
787 Dreamliner, adding that the idling of its jets would cost it
nearly $8 million from its earnings through to the end of March.
Rival All Nippon Airways, which has more 787s than
JAL, said last week it would seek compensation from Boeing once
the amount of damages was clearer.