Grounding of Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ Fleet Lifted by FAA

A Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft on the tarmac in Seattle before embarking on the first-ever commercial flight of any “Dreamliner” aircraft on October 1, 2012. Photograph by Jonathan Spira of Frequent Business Traveler magazine, who is also known as FlyerTalk member jspira.

All it took was one day for the following question posted at The Gate to be answered: will the ‘Dreamliner’ finally fly again?

Apparently, the answer is “yes.”

In a press release issued earlier today, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States lifted the grounding order upon approval of the design changes by Boeing for modifications to the battery systems on Boeing 787 aircraft, which supposedly address the risks at the battery cell level, the battery level and the aircraft level.

Excerpts from the official press release include the following:

“Next week, the FAA will issue instructions to operators for making changes to the aircraft and will publish in the Federal Register 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.”

The first Boeing 787 aircraft could be back in commercial service as early as next week.

As for Boeing — as well as FlyerTalk members who are proponents of the ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft — these problems will hopefully be nothing more than a distant memory.

Welcome back, “Dreamliner’. May you be in service for many years while upholding the utmost in safety for your passengers…

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