FAA: All Airlines Must Inspect Honeywell ELTs

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The FAA on Wednesday issued an Airworthiness Directive that requires airlines to inspect Honeywell ELTs by January 14, "to prevent an electrical short and possible ignition source." The AD is "identical" to one issued last month by Transport Canada, the FAA said. Canada issued the order in response to the fire on board a Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow airport in July. The FAA already had required inspections of the ELTs on 787s, but the new AD extends the inspections to all aircraft operated by U.S. airlines. Europe's aviation agency, EASA, also has adopted Canada's directive.

The FAA estimates the AD will affect 3,832 airplanes at a total cost of approximately $325,720. The directive requires "various one-time general visual inspections of the ELT transmitter units (TUs), and corrective actions if necessary." The AD was published as a "Final Rule," but the FAA said it will accept comments until November 4. The investigation of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 fire at Heathrow Airport continues under the leadership of the U.K. Air Accident Investigation Branch, the FAA said.