NEW YORK — Federal aviation officials will order airlines to put oxygen systems back in jet restrooms, reversing a decision last year to remove them because of fears that terrorists could use them to start a fire during flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that restoring the oxygen systems over the next three years will ‘‘eliminate a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety.’’ The new equipment is supposed to be harder to tamper with, although federal officials have not yet approved any designs.
The rule covers about 5,500 planes and will cost airlines $44.2 million to comply, the FAA estimates.
The FAA posted the new rule online and plans to publish it in the Federal Register on Tuesday.
In February 2011, the FAA quietly told airlines to drain or remove the oxygen systems. It publicly disclosed the order a month later.