Flyers' Rights Org on the Boeing 787 - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Flyers' Rights Org on the Boeing 787

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WASHINGTON, D.C., (KNOE 8 News) - The organization urges travelers to avoid 787's until there's no doubt left about their safety.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is also taking that position. Just one week after he said he would be comfortable taking a spin in Boeing's 787 Dreamliners, LaHood has changed his tune. LaHood now says no 787s will take to the skies again until officials are "1,000% sure" they're safe to fly.

As for when they'll fly again, LaHood isn't giving a timeline, "We just have to be patient here," he said. "What the American people want is to fly on planes that are safe, and that's what we're going to assure them of."

NTSB chairwoman, Deborah A. P. Hersman, said repeatedly at a news conference that a fire should never break out on a plane, as one did on a 787 parked at Logan International Airport in Boston on Jan. 7.

The airlines have few alternatives in the long run and little choice but to wait for Boeing to fix the planes. Due to its carbon composite structure and new electrical features, the 787 promises significant savings for airlines that are desperate for ways to cut their fuel bills.

Some dissonant voices are rising. Officials with Poland's national carrier, LOT, said they will seek monetary compensation from Boeing. Hours before the 787s were grounded worldwide, LOT flew its first commercial flight from Warsaw to Washington. The plane was not allowed to return after the FAA and European aviation authorities grounded the planes.

For the big question; how was a Japanese company, GS Yuasa, chosen to manufacture the problematic lithium-ion batteries on the 787? The NYTimes uncovers the quid pro quo arrangement. Boeing, in return for awarding this major contract to GS Yuasa, which also receives subsidies from Japan's government, agreed that Japanese airlines would buy Boeing aircraft almost exclusively.

Such arrangements are banned by the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft, signed by the United States and Japan, which requires that aircraft purchases be made solely on the basis of "commercial and technological" factors and that procurement contracts should be entered into only on the basis of "competitive price, quality and delivery."

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