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US temporarily grounds Boeing 787s pending safety check


10:36, January 17, 2013

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Wednesday that it will temporarily ground Boeing 787s after incidents involving lithium ion battery failures.

The FAA said that US airlines will have to demonstrate that the lithium ion batteries of the Boeing 787s, the newest commercial airliner nicknamed Dreamliner, are safety before further flight.

"As a result of an in-flight Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations," the FAA said in a statement.

The move was taken after an incident earlier Wednesday, in which a battery failure caused one of All Nippon Airways (ANA) Dreamliner passenger jets, flying from Yamaguchi Ube airport in western Japan to Tokyo, to make an emergency landing.

The FAA said that it will work with the Boeing Co. and US airlines "to develop a corrective action plan to allow the US 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible." The United Airlines is currently the only US airline operating six Dreamliners.

The in-flight battery incident on Wednesday was the second such incident of the Boeing 787s since a Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 caught fire on Jan. 7 in the US city of Boston, due to a battery problem .

Both the ANA and the JAL have grounded their fleet of Dremaliners in order to conduct a safety check. The ANA has a fleet of 17 Dreamliners and the JAL has seven.

After the JAL incident in Boston, the FAA already announced last Friday that it will have a comprehensive review of the 787s critical systems with the possibility of further action pending new data and information.

In addition to the review of the airliner's design, manufacture and assembly, the FAA will also validate that 787 batteries and the battery system are in compliance with the special condition the agency issued as part of the aircraft certification.

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