How to Ensure Safety during an Aircraft Refueling Operation
There are times when we question why things are done as they are. And we wonder if we are doing the right, or the best way. The discussion below of aircraft refueling operations will show you why this is conducted the way it is and it will serve as a guideline to ensure that the operation is performed safely and in a code compliant manner.
In an aircraft refueling operation, it is only properly trained personnel who are permitted to conduct fueling operations. 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.
Both sides of fuel vehicles are to be marked with the name of the operator or responsible organization are required by safety standards. 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. It consists of three initial steps: activate emergency fuel shutoff, notify the supervisor, and initiate clean-up by trained personnel only. If the spill is spreading and is threatening to be an immediate hazard, then the airport fire rescue should be alerted at once.
Vehicles with internal combustion engines should not be permitted within fifty feet of the aircraft being fueled. The best position for the vehicle performing fueling operations is to be more than 10 feet from the aircraft fuel vent system.
It is prohibited to use electrical equipment on the servicing ramp during fueling. Fueling points and tank vents should be far from connected ground power units. Smoking is strictly prohibited and personnel are not allowed to carry lighters and matches on their person.
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.
There should be a minimum of two fire extinguishers on each fueling vehicle.
It is required that fuel servicing equipment be maintained 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 most important component of the fuel system is the hose itself. 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.
By following these safety guidelines given for aircraft fuel servicing, loss from fire can be prevented, and life safety of employees and customers can be maintained.
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