Continental submits plan to FAA to re-certify Koito seats

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United-Continental is looking to re-certify all Koito-manufactured seats on the Continental portion of its fleet, and has begun testing its Boeing 757s, Air Transport Intelligence can exclusively reveal.

The US major has tapped engineering house Northwest Aerospace Technology (NAT) to handle the certification process.

A NAT executive confirms the company is working with Continental's engineers on the project, but declined to provide further details.

Koito falsified test data on some 150,000 seats in the world fleet, resulting in EASA and FAA airworthiness directives that require airlines to determine if Koito seats and seating systems are compliant with certain regulations and remove seats shown to be unsafe.

Some 278 Continental Airlines aircraft are fitted with Koito seats, according to the FAA.

A Continental spokeswoman says: "We are working closely with the FAA, and will fully comply with the rule requirements. We submitted our test plan to the FAA, and they concur with the plan. We will start testing of our 757s immediately."

She did not provide information about Continental's test plan. The FAA did not comment.

ATI has learned, however, that Continental intends to go above and beyond the requirements of the FAA AD, not only meeting its provisions, but completing a full re-certification of the seats on its aircraft because the carrier wants to be able to modify the seats now and in the future.

Continental is retrofitting its aircraft with LiveTV's latest generation live televisions system.

LiveTV declined to comment on the status of installations in light of Continental's plan.

Continental, meanwhile, says its Boeing 737 deliveries are back on track. The carrier suffered delays last year when the Koito scandal hit. B/E Aerospace is providing seats for Continental's new 737s.