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Boeing requests global inspections of Honeywell beacons

Boeing has requested airlines worldwide to inspect emergency transmitters on a range of its planes. Regulators are deciding whether the beacons played a part in security incidents.

The US manufacturer Boeing confirmed on Monday that the Honeywell emergency beacons had come under scrutiny following a fire on a parked 787 Dreamliner jet two weeks ago. The fire caused serious damage to the Ehtiopian Airlines plane at London's Heathrow airport on July 12.

Boeing had already sent out instructions for inspecting the emergency locator transmitters on its 787 jets, but the company has now requested inspections of its 717, next-generation 737, 747-400, 767 and 777 models.

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The beacons help emergency services to locate a plane after a crash and had not been considered a potential security threat before the July 12 incident.

The search goes on

In a blog post, Boeing announced that the requested checks were meant to speed up decisions on whether and how to use the Honeywell beacons in the future.

"The purpose of these inspections is to gather data to support potential rule making by regulators," according to the company.

Boeing made a point of stressing that the same kind of emergency transmitters had been deployed on some 20 models, including jets from European rival Airbus and business aviation planes.

hg/mkg (Reuters, dpa)

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