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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
In a statement released Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said it would cease operations of Boeing 787 aircraft to address a potential risk.
As a result of an in-flight Boeing 787 battery incident early Wednesday in Japan, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the planes, and require operators to temporarily cease operations, officials said.
"Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe," the release states.
The FAA says it will work with the manufacturer and carriers to develop a corrective action plan to allow the U.S. 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.
The in-flight Japanese battery incident followed an earlier 787 battery incident that occurred on the ground in Boston on January 7.
The AD is prompted by this second incident involving a lithium ion battery, officials said.
The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is under investigation.
These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment, the release states.
Last Friday, the FAA announced a comprehensive review of the 787's critical systems with the possibility of further action pending new data and information.
In addition to the continuing review of the aircraft's design, manufacture and assembly, the agency also will validate that 787 batteries and the battery system on the aircraft are in compliance with the special condition the agency issued as part of the aircraft's certification.
United Airlines is currently the only U.S. airline operating the 787, with six airplanes in service.