A three-month grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliners could begin to be lifted as early as today.
The US Federal Aviation Administration is tipped to announce Boeing has demonstrated that the 787’s redesigned batteries are safe.
Regulators have been convinced that various internal enhancements and a new protective metal container will prevent fires and automatically suck smoke or toxic fumes out of the aircraft, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Foreign regulators are expected to follow the FAA’s lead. That means many of the fuel-efficient 787s could resume carrying passengers as early as May.
FAA chief Michael Huerta and transportation secretary Ray LaHood are poised to give the green light for Boeing to help airlines retrofit more than 50 Dreamliners.
The 787s were grounded globally in January after lithium-ion batteries burned on a pair of aircraft in little more than a week.
The fixes are expected to take less than a handful of days, but other aircraft testing and refresher training for pilots could stretch into additional weeks.
After the expected announcement, Boeing will issue a service bulletin instructing airlines how to revamp the battery systems, and the FAA will issue a formal safety directive mandating the changes.
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