Boeing seeks to avoid 787 egress lighting redesign

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Boeing has disclosed ongoing talks with the FAA to obtain a new exemption from certification rules to avoid a redesign of the egress lighting system on the 787 aircraft.

The FAA grants manufacturers a five-year window for certifying a new aircraft design based on the regulatory criteria in place at the time of application.

The two-year delay for the 787 development phase pushed it beyond the five-year window, exposing the aircraft design to new rules enacted since it submitted its application for type certification.

Since the 787 application was submitted, the FAA has issued new rules for exterior lighting systems used for emergency egress, said Mike Delaney, Boeing's VP and chief project engineer today during a programme update.

"The airplane is designed around certification required at the time of application," says Delaney.

Boeing and the FAA are now discussing whether the five-year time period should be extended to allow the design for the 787's exterior lighting to remain unchanged.