NATA Unveils Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System – Breakthrough Tool Enhancing Industry Safety and Efficiency

Demonstrations of this new system at upcoming Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

Wednesday, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) unveiled the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System (Safety 1st FQMS), a cloud-based digital tool for general and business aviation fuel quality management inspections, record keeping and auditing. NATA will demonstrate this breakthrough tool during the upcoming Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in Long Beach, CA, at NATA’s Booth 840 on February 7th (3:30pm – 4:00pm) and 8th (2:00pm – 2:30pm). You may also schedule an individual appointment to view this and other NATA products and services at https://nataatsdc.setmore.com/.

The Safety 1st FQMS replaces traditional pen and paper record keeping with an intelligent system that increases management visibility, employee accountability and operational safety. Key features include digital storage and access to all quality control (QC) records; an easy-to-use, mobile-optimized inspection platform; and Compliance Sentry technology that provides a 24-7 eye on your QC system. Location and date/time-stamping of inspections increases team accountability by enabling managers to verify where and when inspections were performed.

“As an association that works to continuously enhance safety best practices and provide value to its members, NATA is pleased to offer the Safety 1st Fuel QC Management System — an important advancement in fuel quality management,” stated NATA President Martin H. Hiller. “The Safety 1st FQMS enables FBOs and other fuel providers to leverage technology to increase efficiency and visibility into their fuel quality management efforts and affords Part 135, Part 91 and Part 91k operators the ability to remotely audit fuel quality control.”

“The Safety 1st FQMS is offered at an affordable, monthly rate to NATA members, allowing even the smallest FBOs to benefit from this technology,” added NATA Managing Director of Safety and Training Michael France.

Visit NATA at the upcoming NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference, Booth 840, or go to www.nata.aero/fqms for more information or to schedule an online demonstration today!

Click here to view the full press release.

Summary of Recent NATA Webinar: Filter Monitors and What You Need to Know

NATA would like to thank everyone who attended last week’s webinar on recent changes concerning filter monitors and give a special thanks to our expert panelists Amy Carico of Airlines for America (A4A) and John Leonard of Facet Filters.

The webinar was held to update our members on the status of filter monitors following the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), and Energy Institute’s (EI) position statement that filter monitors be phased out of all aviation fuel handling systems. The position statement came after eight separate documented incidents in which super absorbent polymer or SAP (which is the media used in filter monitors) was found downstream in engine/airframe fuel system components.

We have provided a summary of the questions and answers covered during the webinar below:

Q: How has A4A responded to the findings of the IATA and EI special interest group on SAP?

A: A4A has issued the following 6 actions to be implemented at sites which use filter monitors and operate to the ATA 103 standard:

2222

Q: What if my site is not required to meet the ATA 103?

A: The recommendations of A4A concerning the action items above come after thorough industry research and are recommended to be implemented at all facilities currently using filter monitor elements. NATA also recommends you contact your filter manufacturer and fuel provider for additional guidance.

 

Q: Do the same concerns that exist regarding filter monitors for use with jet fuel also apply to avgas?

A: Yes, and while the ATA 103 does not provide a standard for avgas, the same recommendations provided for use with jet fuel are also recommended for avgas. NATA recommends you contact your filter manufacturer and fuel provider for specific guidance.

 

Q: The EI outlined a December 31st, 2020 revocation date for the 1583 qualification standard for filter monitors. What does that mean for my location if we use filter monitors?

A: Filter manufacturers are currently working with the EI and other industry partners to develop a replacement for filter monitors by December 31st, 2020. Until a replacement is decided upon and approved industry wide, the six action items outlined above should be implemented as a precaution against SAP media migration downstream.

 

Q: Is there currently a 7th edition specification approved for 2’’, 5’’ and 6’’ in-to-out flow filter monitors?

A: 2’’ monitors have received 7th edition EI qualification and are currently available from all three filter manufactures. 5’’ and 6’’ elements are currently awaiting EI 7th edition qualification. NATA recommends you contact your filter manufacturer for timelines.

 

Q: What should I do if my site currently uses 6’’ in-to-out flow monitor elements?

A: 6’’ in-to-out flow monitor elements were developed to convert existing filter/water separator vessels (FWS), also known as coalescer/separator vessels, to monitor filtration. As noted by A4A in the table above, these vessels should be converted back to using filter/water separator elements. It is important to note, that FWS vessels require water defense systems so you must ensure that your vessel is equipped with a functioning water defense.

 

Q: What about 5’’ and 6’’ out-to-in flow monitor elements used in small canister vessels like the VF-61, VF-21, and VF-22?

A: The three major filter element manufacturers Facet, Velcon, and Faudi all make single-element filter/separator filters for these vessels so you should contact your filter supplier to determine the element which would be required. Like traditional FWS vessels however, a water defense system must be installed.

NATA Hosts First Advanced Line Service Workshop of 2018 | Next Workshop February 21-22 in Long Beach

Last week, NATA kicked off its 2018 Advanced Line Service (ALS) Workshop training series at Gateway Aviation Services in Mesa, AZ. The two-day event included sessions on motivation and leadership techniques, customer service best practices, misfueling prevention and the impact of human factors on aviation ground handling. Guest speakers Rick Spencer of Facet Filters and Reed Fuller of World Fuel Services also instructed attendees on aviation fuel filtration and quality control. The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Fire Department provided hands on fire-extinguisher training during the workshop.

NATA would like to thank Matt Nebgen, Shannon Jones and all the staff at Gateway Aviation Services for hosting the association’s first 2018 ALS workshop.

Register now for NATA’s next ALS workshop on February 21-22 at Ross Aviation in Long Beach, CA. Click here for upcoming dates and registration information.

1

ALS attendees strategize on risk mitigations for Human Factors that affect aviation ground handling.

2

Reed Fuller with World Fuel Services leads a session on aviation fuel quality control.

3

4

One of our ALS attendees extinguishes a live fire with the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Fire department.

 

Important Changes to ATA 103 – Standards for Jet Fuel Quality Control at Airports

UDPATE: The maximum DP for filter monitors referenced with-in this article has been reverted back to 15psi. See our other NATA SafetyNet blog posts for the latest concerning filter monitors and other industry news.

This month, Airlines for America (A4A) announced several significant changes to their ATA 103 Specification – Standards for Jet Fuel Quality Control at Airports. Chief among these changes is an extension of coalescer filter elements from a one-year replacement schedule to a three-year replacement schedule. The coalescer filter housings are still required to be opened and inspected annually for cleanliness and element integrity, and the maximum allowable differential pressure (DP) remains 15psi. Monitor filter elements had their maximum allowable DP extended to 22psi, but are still required to be replaced annually. Another important change came in the elimination of the required monthly upstream membrane color/particle check, or “Millipore” test (downstream testing is still required monthly).

 

The announcement came after a “comprehensive review and update” by the A4A Fuel Technical Committee, and included several other key highlights. The new revision ATA 103 2017.1 is expected to be published next month, and will include additional updates not outlined in the announcement.  A copy of the full announcement can be viewed here.

Including Safety in Your FBO Selection

Aircraft operators consider a number of factors when choosing an FBO: available facilities, customer service, fuel cost, hangar availability, location and fees. As you read that list, one important item is absent – safety. A recent study by the VanAllen Group found that ground incidents accounted for “the largest source of [insurance] claims payments.”

Though safety is not on the list above, the bottom line is that aircraft operators care about safety in all they do. In fact, a focus on FBO safety is considered a given expectation. Think about the last time you went to a restaurant; did you spend any time thinking about whether the food you consumed would give you food poisoning? Probably not, and this is not because you don’t care about food safety, but rather because you assume that restaurant is focusing on preventing food borne illness. The same is true with FBO selection, an FBO with quality facilities, great customer service, and competitive pricing must be doing the right things when it comes to safety, correct?

FBO safety is also challenging to assess from afar. How can a dispatcher, scheduler or flight coordinator effectively evaluate an FBO’s safety program during a phone call? Challenges aside, with ground handling incidents being a leading cause of aircraft damage, our industry has determined that aircraft operators should be even more proactive when it comes to ensuring ground safety of aircraft at remote locations. Standards like the International Standard – Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) and the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s (ACSF) Industry Audit Standard (IAS) both include requirements for reviewing ground handling safety while aircraft are away from home. So what can an aircraft operator do?

First, we must understand the basis for ground handling safety in our industry. In the U.S. ground handling is governed by industry standard. Some of those standards include Airlines for America’s (A4A) Spec 103 (fuel quality), NATA’s Safety 1st Program (operational safety training) and the International Standard – Business Aircraft Handling (safety management system (SMS) and standard practice). When implemented and rigorously adhered to, these standards form a solid base that aircraft operators can rely on as an indicator that FBOs are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the aircraft, passengers and crew they handle.

Asking “Is your FBO IS-BAH registered and Safety 1st qualified?” is the quickest and simplest means to assess the safety commitment of an FBO. Currently over 600 locations meet the Safety 1st qualification requirements and over 50 FBOs have achieved IS-BAH registration with even more on the way during Q1 of this year. Of course, what is done with this information is up to each individual aircraft operator. Likely, it will be used in combination with other factors. Even though it may not be a sole decision making criterion, there is no replacement for checking an FBO’s Safety 1st and IS-BAH registration status. In fact, aircraft operators can verify Safety 1st & IS-BAH status of FBOs around the world by visiting www.fbostatus.com. A global map utilizing the familiar Google Maps platform displays every FBO in the world that is Safety 1st qualified or IS-BAH registered. The map is searchable by airport, city, state and FBO name and provides a quick way to verify the status of any FBO you might choose to visit.

Ground handling safety is important to FBOs and it is important to you as an aircraft operator. Taking a few moments in your FBO evaluation process to ask, “Are you IS-BAH registered and Safety 1st qualified?” and verifying that status on www.fbostatus.com provides you a critical decision point in your FBO selection process.

Republished from Business Air’s Charter Today (Q1 2017)

FlyCorporate: Standards Can Take FBOs to New Heights

FlyCorporate recently published an article on the benefits of becoming IS-BAH certified. Find out more about what an IS-BAH rating can do for your FBO and how to get started.

Everything You Could Ever Want to Know About Fuel Handling

I remember back to my early days in working at an FBO, I was still struggling to find a direction to my career in aviation. I found that direction in aviation fuel handling and I can remember searching high and low for informational sources so that I could learn more about the processes, procedures and equipment that our industry uses to make sure that fuel is delivered clean, dry and on-specification. I remember reading the old, blue covered, NATA Fuel Handling guide and the Gam-Grams from Gammon Technical Products.

A new resource on aviation fuel handling became available late last year from the Energy Institute; the second edition of EI 1550, the Handbook on equipment used for the maintenance and delivery of clean aviation fuel. I am reading it now and it is a valuable reference for anyone involved in the handling of aviation fuel. The handbook is available directly from the Energy Institute here.

While we are on the subject, there are a number of other great resources on fuel handling including the Gam-Grams I mentioned earlier and:

There are likely other fantastic resources out there. Please don’t hesitate to let me know other resources that you depend on!

Submitted by Michael France, NATA Director of Safety and Training

Visit or return to NATA website: http://www.nata.aero/safety1st