Charleston 787 delivery centre readies for Air India first

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Boeing South Carolina's new delivery centre will be pressed into service shortly with the expected late June handover of Airplane 46, the first completed Boeing 787 from the Charleston final assembly line, to Air India.

Dave Palmer, Boeing's Charleston delivery centre director, says Air India officials visited the facility for the first time in March and were to return soon to "work the customer acceptance and delivery" aspects. Boeing expects to deliver four Charleston-built 787s to Air India by year's end.

In all, Palmer says 15 airlines have visited the facility, despite not being sure if their 787s would be delivered from Charleston or from Everett, Washington, the primary 787 final assembly line and delivery centre. Boeing says delivery locations are not pre-determined.

As the Charleston facility is based at a Category 4 airport with higher security requirements than the Category 2 airport at Everett, Palmer says US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials will be on hand to screen customers taking acceptance of their aircraft.

Palmer says customers going on board their 787s for the first time via one of two all-glass boarding bridges will get primed for the visual aspects of the 787 interior before entering the aircraft. The bridges are the world's first to be equipped with full-spectrum LED lighting, the same lighting available in the cabin.