Europe approves Boeing 787 battery design change

The European Aviation Safety Agency said Tuesday it had approved Boeing's proposed battery design change for its 787 planes, after a problem with overheating grounded the jetliner in January.

The green light, which follows a similar move in the United States, will allow the "European operated aircraft to return to service as soon as the modification will be installed," the Germany-based agency said in a statement.

All of the 50 Boeing 787 planes in service have been grounded globally since mid-January after a series of overheating problems with the cutting-edge plane's lithium-ion battery system.

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The grounding came after a battery fire on a parked Japan Airlines 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport and an incident in which battery smoke forced an emergency landing of an All Nippon Airways (ANA) 787 in Japan.

EASA, whose base is in the western German city of Cologne, said it had approved "the design change of the Boeing 787-8 Auxiliary Power Unit battery, battery charger and battery enclosure installation."

On Friday the US Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing's proposed battery fix for the 787 Dreamliner, and Japan said earlier Tuesday that a final decision on restarting flights using Boeing's grounded aircraft would be made as early as this week.

© 2013 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Apr 23, 2013