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The Federal Aviation Administration has given Boeing (NYSE: BA ) its approval of the company's certification plan for the 787 Dreamliner's redesigned battery system. This is the first part of the process that Boeing hopes will get the 787 cleared to fly again.
That approval came after the FAA reviewed the company's proposed battery modifications and the procedure it will use to test those changes. The modifications include a redesign of the battery components to reduce the chance of internal short circuits, better insulation of the battery cells, a new venting system, and a new containment package.
The certification procedure will include limited flight testing of the new battery system in two 787s.
"We won't allow the plane to return to service unless we're satisfied that the new design ensures the safety of the aircraft and its passengers," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The FAA's airworthiness directive of January 16, 2013, requiring carriers to ground their 787s, is still in effect.