NATA's Attempts End To Overturn NFPA 407 Decision

 - May 28, 2021, 12:14 PM
For FBOs and other fuel providers required to operate under the tenets of NFPA 407, the dismissal of NATA's petition over the requirements for redundant automatic overfill protection devices at airport tank farms and on refuelers may mean having to outlay thousands of dollars in retrofits and scramble for compliance with the measure, which takes effect next week.

The National Air Transportation Association's (NATA) final petition attempt to overturn the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council's decision to enforce new NFPA 407 requirements for automatic fuel overfill protection systems at all airport loading racks that are compatible with mobile refuelers was dismissed this week, effectively shutting down NATA’s last avenue of relief under the standards development process.

The changes to NFPA 407, which were adopted in 2017 and take effect on June 2, require additional protective fueling devices to be retroactively installed at airport loading racks, as well as modification of mobile refuelers.

"To say we are disappointed in the outcome would be an understatement, as we worked hard with our members to make their voices heard on this issue," Steve Berry, NATA's manager of fuel quality and safety told AIN. "The end result is that those who have adopted the 2017 revision of the NFPA 407-Standard For Aircraft Fuel Servicing will be required to comply with these onerous requirements.”

While NATA continues its belief that the need for the systems is not based on statistical evidence, it suggests that FBOs, airports, and other fuel providers who are required to operate under NFPA 407 work with their local authorities to request a modification to the retroactive component of the requirements. According to NATA, those authorities have the ability to modify the requirements “if their application clearly would be impractical in the judgment of the authority having jurisdiction, and only where it is clearly evident that a reasonable degree of safety is provided.” It has prepared a form letter for that purpose and a letter of support that is available on its website.

For companies operating at Part 139 airports, NATA is seeking an extension for compliance from the FAA.