MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota boy who stowed away on a flight to Las Vegas last year is close to being reunited with his parents.

Judge Joseph Klein on Friday said he is pleased enough with the boy's progress that he soon may be able to permanently rejoin his family.

The boy, who is now 10, has been placed outside his home under child protective services.

The boy was not in court Friday. The next court hearing will be held March 19.

The boy gained national notoriety Oct. 3 when he sneaked past federal security agents at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and boarded a flight to Las Vegas by himself without a ticket. He was detained when the plane landed in Nevada, and was later returned to Minnesota.