An international energy organization, the Energy Institute, has joined the increasing calls for caution in handling fuel additives on airports, including fuel system icing inhibitors (FSII). The Energy Institute’s new report, “EI 1538: Handling of Fuel System Icing Inhibitor and Aviation Fuel Containing Fuel System Icing Inhibitor at Airports, 1st Edition,” outlines risks of handling and guidance on avoiding inadvertent cross-contamination.
The report comes in the wake of several instances of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) cross-contamination with FSII that caused loss of engine power. These events spurred an industry Aircraft Diesel Exhaust Fluid Contamination Working Group report in June and a National Transportation Safety Board safety alert in July on avoidance of such cross-contamination. The FAA also has issued special airworthiness information bulletins on the hazards of contamination.
Improperly stored, the clear, colorless DEF can be mistaken for FSII. DEF is required for all new on- and off-road diesel-powered vehicles but can clog aircraft and engine filters when mixed into jet fuel.
“It is essential that all personnel involved in the handling of FSII and all additives and chemicals on a site understand the consequences of any lapse in maintaining correct procedures,” the Energy Institute report states, detailing means of training, handling, and storage.
“We’re grateful for the Energy Institute’s support to educate and inform FBOs, aircraft fuelers, operators and other stakeholders about the dangers of DEF contamination,” said NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations Mark Larsen. “We’re continuing our efforts to identify ways to limit the need for DEF in airport equipment to minimize the exposure to this hazard, thereby mitigating its risk.”