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FAA approves Boeing 787 battery system design changes
19 April 2013
B787 JA829JA at Boston Airport during the battery fire incident (photo: NTSB)

B787 JA829JA at Boston Airport during the battery fire incident (photo: NTSB)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Boeing’s design for modifications to the Boeing 787 battery system. The changes are designed to address risks at the battery cell level, the battery level and the aircraft level.

Next week, the FAA 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. The FAA 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.

To assure proper installation of the new design, the FAA will closely monitor modifications of the aircraft in the U.S. fleet. The FAA will stage teams of inspectors at the modification locations. Any return to service of the modified 787 will only take place after the FAA accepts the work.

As the certifying authority, the FAA will continue to support other authorities around the world as they finalize their own acceptance procedures.

Meanwhile the NTSB is continuing its investigation into the January 7 Boeing 787 battery fire at Boston, MA, one of the incidents that led to the grounding of the 787. A public hearing will be held on April 23-24.

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