Boeing CEO says 787 is 'very close' to flying

WASHINGTON - Boeing CEO Jim McNerney is sure his company is "very close" to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back flying again.

"We have a high degree of confidence in the technical solution we are testing right now with the FAA," McNerney said Thursday. "I think it will be sooner than later."

Boeing started flight testing a solution to the 787's battery problems Monday. Those problems led regulators to ground the plane in January. McNerney expects the tests to conclude in a few days and said the data should be conclusive enough to convince regulators to let the plane fly again.

He called the grounding a "frustrating experience" but said regulators are putting safety first.

"They have the best interest of the flying public in mind," McNerney said.

Denver International Airport officials are closely monitoring the testing. United Airlines plans to use the 787 for its new route from Denver to Tokyo. Because of the grounding of the 787's, the launch of that flight has been delayed to May 12.