FAA orders grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines is seen on Jan. 9, 2013, at Los Angeles International Airport.
David McNew/Getty Images

WASHINGTON Federal officials say they are ordering aircraft operators to ground Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets to address a potential battery fire risk of the plane's lithium batteries.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Wednesday that it will issue an emergency safety order requiring airlines to temporarily cease operating all U.S.-registered 787s, Boeing's newest and most technologically advanced plane.

"The FAA 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," said the agency.

United Airlines (UAL), the only U.S. operator of 787s, said in a statement on Wednesday that it "will immediately comply with the airworthiness directive and will work closely with the FAA and Boeing on the technical review as we work toward restoring 787 service."

United has six 787s. It said it plans to re-accommodate customers who had booked flights on its 787s on alternate aircraft.

Only days ago, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood declared the plane safe.

But after an emergency landing in Japan early Wednesday, two Japanese airlines voluntarily grounded their 787s.

The FAA announced in a statement that as a result of a battery incident aboard a 787 in Japan on Wednesday, the aircraft must demonstrate to the government agency that its batteries are safe and in compliance.