How to Ensure Safety during an Aircraft Refueling Operation
In our daily workday in our respective careers we often wonder why we do things the way we do. We often wonder if the way we do things is the right and best way. The same is true with aircraft refueling when we see things being conducted the way they are and we wonder why, but this article will show why and that is to ensure safety and code compliance.
Only properly trained personnel are permitted to conduct fueling operations as the foremost requirement of the task. While trained to use aircraft refueling equipment properly, operators also know what to do in the event of an emergency as part of their training.
As standards require, fuel vehicle should have the name of the operator or responsible organization marked on both sides of the vehicle. Fuel trucks should contain information of what type of fuel is in the truck and the hazards that it can cause.
The procedures in the event of a spill are laid down in the following. The three steps to take in the event of a spill are the following: activate the emergency fuel shutoff, the supervisor needs to be notified, and a cleanup of the spill must be done only by trained personnel. A spill of more than 10 feet or 50 square feet and presents an immediate hazard should be a signal to notify the airport fire rescue crew to respond.
If an aircraft is being fueled, internal combustion engine vehicles should not be permitted within 50 feet of the aircraft. The distance from the vehicle performing fueling operations to the aircraft fuel vent system should be at least ten feet.
It is prohibited to use electrical equipment on the servicing ramp during fueling. To ensure safety, connected ground power units should be positioned far from fueling point and tank vents. Carrying lighters and matches, and smoking is strictly prohibited.
There should be at least a twenty five feet distance between an aircraft being refueled and the nearest hangar, service building, terminal or loading area.
Each fueling vehicle is required to have a minimum of two fire extinguishers.
All fuel servicing equipment should always be in good working condition. It is important to ensure that all equipment are in proper usable condition, that is why it is necessary to conduct regular inspection, testing, and maintenance of the different system components.
The fuel system’s most important component is the fuel hose. A daily inspection of the fuel hose is necessary. Hose inspection should be conducted by extending it out to its normal use length, to be able to look for any evidence of blistering, cuts of nicks.
It is not only loss from fire that can be prevented by following these safety guideline for aircraft fuel servicing, but most importantly , it maintains the safety of the life of its employees and customers.