FAA formally ends Dreamliner flight ban | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.04.2013
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FAA formally ends Dreamliner flight ban

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has in effect ended a ban on Dreamliner passenger flights. It cleared a battery fix by Boeing. New deliveries will resume and come with the revamped system.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave its formal approval on Thursday for a new lithium-ion battery system to be used in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner passenger planes.

It thus ended a three-month ban on Dreamliner flights and allowed US airlines to fly the revamped plane with passengers again. Technically speaking, the FAA's ruling currently only applies to United Airlines as the only US carrier with the new high-tech jet.

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However, the administration's "airworthiness directive" is expected to set the standard for regulators in Japan, Europe and elsewhere to follow suit.

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The FAA said the cost for United Airlines to retrofit the battery system in its six Dreamliner jets would amount to $2.8 million (2.14 million euros).

Thursday's FAA approval ended a tumultuous period for Boeing that began when two lithium-ion batteries overheated in separate incidents in January of this year. The two planes involved are owned by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, which together own about half of the fleet of 50 Dreamliners delivered so far.

Boeing said it expected to resume deliveries early next month and finish retrofitting the 50 jets already in service by mid-May.

hg/hc (AP, Reuters)

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