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Lithium batteries are at center of FAA review

Federal regulators are launching a major review of the safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s electrical systems to be announced Friday at a news conference led by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Michael Huerta, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Federal regulators are launching a major review of the safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s electrical systems, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The unusual and sweeping review, focused both on the systems’ design and on the manufacturing of their components, will be announced Friday by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Michael Huerta, the sources said.

Boeing will work with the FAA on the review, which will include scrutiny of its suppliers and their manufacturing processes.

The move comes after a battery fire Monday aboard a parked Dreamliner in Boston, a serious event that came after smaller incidents over six months involving faults in the jet’s electrical panels.

Boeing’s Dreamliners will continue to fly passengers while the broad review of the entire electrical-power system is conducted.

“Nothing suggests there is an imminent safety issue,” said one person familiar with the situation. “But pretty much all the recent incidents have involved the electrical systems, so it’s prudent to take a look.”
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