NEW YORK -- The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday approved Boeing's (IW 500/16) modifications to the 787 battery system, a key hurdle in returning the Dreamliner to service after it was grounded worldwide.
Airlines operating the 787 will be required to install containment and venting systems and to replace batteries and their chargers with modified components.
The FAA said it will only allow 787s to return to service after inspectors accept the work.
"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," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The next step in the FAA process will be to issue instructions to operators for making the changes to the aircraft.
The FAA said it would "closely monitor" modifications of the aircraft and would stage teams of inspectors at different locations.
All of the 50 Boeing 787 planes in service were grounded globally in mid-January after a series of overheating problems with the cutting-edge plane's lithium-ion battery system.
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.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013