FAA sign-off key for Boeing to announce latest 787 schedule change

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Boeing is awaiting approval by the US FAA before releasing the company's revised schedule for the 787 prompted by an electric fire on board a flight test aircraft two months ago.

"We said in December that we hope to have a schedule in January," Boeing Commercial Airplanes president James Albaugh told reporters on 12 January.

After asking, "What day is it?", Albaugh checked his watch. "I guess that's probably right," he said.

The announcement of Boeing's new certification schedule for the 787 has been anticipated for several weeks. The 787 fleet resumed certification tests on 23 December following electrical fire on ZA002 on 9 November.

Albaugh rejected a reporter's suggestion that Boeing's scheduled earnings release on 26 January for full-year 2010 and fourth quarter financial results would be a logical time to disclose the new 787 schedule.

"This is something when we totally understand everything, and we have concurrence from the FAA, then we'll go forward with the schedule," Albaugh said. "Clearly, getting the FAA to agree to the fixes that we put in place, and for them to start riding in the airplane again to score the performance of the airplane, will be a big part [of the decision]."