The Federal Aviation Administration late Thursday approved Boeing's request to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft as part of the FAA's battery fire probe.
"These test flights will be an important part of our efforts to ensure the safety of passengers and return these aircraft to service," the FAA said.
Boeing asked the FAA Monday for permission to conduct test flights after the global grounding of all 50 787s in service in mid-January following two burned battery incidents.
"As part of our ongoing efforts to determine the root cause of recent Boeing 787 lithium-ion battery incidents, the FAA will permit Boeing to conduct test flights of 787 aircraft to gather additional data," the agency said in a statement.
The primary aim of these test flights will be to collect data about the battery and electrical system performance while the aircraft is airborne, it said, adding that the tests will be performed in "defined airspace" over unpopulated areas.
"These test flights will be an important part of our efforts to ensure the safety of passengers and return these aircraft to service," it said.