FAA approves Boeing plan to fix 787's batteries

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WASHINGTON — A Boeing plan to redesign the 787 Dreamliner’s fire-plagued lithium-ion batteries won approval Tuesday from the Federal Aviation Administration, moving the cutting-edge planes a step closer to flying passengers again.

The plan includes changes to the internal battery components to minimize the possibility of short-circuiting, which can lead to overheating and cause a fire. Among the changes are better insulation of the battery’s eight cells and the addition of a new containment and venting system, the FAA said in a statement.

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., who was briefed by the agency, said that if all goes well, the FAA could give final approval by mid- to late April for the 787 to resume flight.

Boeing would still have to retrofit the 50 planes already delivered to eight airlines in seven countries, Larsen said in an interview.

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