NTSB to hold forum and hearing on 787 battery investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board plans to hold a forum and hearing in April related to the investigation into a battery fire on a Japan Airlines’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Boston.

“With the grounding of the 787 fleet, concurrent international incident investigations, redesign and re-certification activities taking place simultaneously, it is essential to provide the aviation community, policy makers and the public with the factual information we are developing,” NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said in a statement.

The forum, to be held in mid-April, will explore lithium-ion battery technology and transportation safety, the NTSB said. The hearing, to be held later in April, will focus on the design and certification of the 787 battery system.

The information will help the NTSB and the transportation community understand the risks and benefits of lithium batteries.

It also will help the understanding of how manufacturers and regulators evaluate the safety of the new technology, the agency said.

The NTSB released an interm report Thursday along with 499 pages of data related to the investigation.