FAA has approved Boeing’s design modifications for the 787 battery system, paving the way for the lifting of the grounding of the worldwide Dreamliner fleet imposed Jan. 16.
“The changes are designed to address risks at the battery cell level, the battery level and the aircraft level,” FAA said in a Friday statement.
FAA said next week it will “issue instructions to operators for making changes to the aircraft and will publish … the final directive that will allow the 787 to return to service with the battery system modifications. The directive will take effect upon publication.”
FAA added it “will require airlines that operate the 787 to install containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary system batteries, and to replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components.”
US transportation secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement, “Safety of the traveling public is our number one priority. These changes to the 787 battery will ensure the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.”
FAA administrator Michael Huerta added, “A team of FAA certification specialists observed rigorous tests we required Boeing to perform and devoted weeks to reviewing detailed analysis of the design changes to reach this decision.”
FAA said it will “stage teams of inspectors at the modification locations” and “any return to service of the modified 787 will only take place after the FAA accepts the work.” The agency added it will “continue to support other authorities around the world as they finalize their own acceptance procedures.”
Boeing has already resumed 787 pre-delivery production flights.