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FAA clears Boeing test flights of 787 Dreamliner

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

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.

"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.

"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.

The test flights, to take place over unpopulated territory, will aim to collect data about the battery and electrical systems while the aircraft is airborne.

Boeing said, in a separate statement, it would resume the 787 flight-test activities "soon."

"While our work to determine the cause of the recent battery incidents continues in coordination with appropriate regulatory authorities and investigation agencies, we are confident that 787 is safe to operate for this flight test activity," it said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130207/faa-clears-boeing-test-flights-787-dreamliner-0