Airlines For America Extends Several Important Filter Monitor Deadlines

Airlines for America (A4A) released Bulletin 2018.1 this week in response to industry feedback for compliance dates affecting filter monitors. The new bulletin supersedes the previous dates issued in A4A bulletin 2017.2 and extends them to December 31st, 2018 for the following action items:

  • Upgrade 2-inch diameter filter monitors to EI 1583 7th edition
  • Upgrade 6-inch diameter out-to-in filter monitors to EI 1583 7th edition
  • Convert 6-inch diameter in-to-out filter monitors to EI 1581 Filter Water Separators

The extension is welcome news for many operators who currently utilize filter monitors and may have been surprised by the announcement late last year that filter monitors, which are widely used around the world for aviation fuel filtration, would be phased out of operation by December 31st, 2020. NATA has and will continue to follow this issue closely to bring you the latest developments.

Filter Vessel Maintenance Doesn’t Stop at Replacing the Elements 

In our previous SafetyNet blog post, “The GamGram”  we told you about The GamGram and what a great resource it is for anyone involved with aviation fuel handling. In the latest GamGram #69, Gammon Technical Products addresses some of the filter vessel maintenance concerns that often get over-looked. Many facilities may think that filter vessel maintenance is pretty much limited to changing filters and monitoring differential pressure. While these tasks are very important and great starting points, there are many other components of filter vessels that can lead to bigger problems down the road, if neglected. Check out GamGram #69 Filter Vessel Concerns to learn more.

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:

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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.

Gammon Technical Releases DP Limiting Device Adjustment Instructions

In light of the recent industry changes concerning filter monitors, Gammon Technical has issued the following instructions, which detail how to set the maximum differential pressure (DP) on their GTP-8980 DP limiting device. As per ATA 103 v2017.2, DP limiting devices are required on all filter monitor vessels and set points must be adjusted to reflect the 15psi limit by no later than January 31, 2018. If your facility uses a different DP limiting device, you should contact your manufacturer for specific instructions.

For more information on this issue, please see our other blog posts concerning the recent industry changes for filter monitors.

Airlines for America Releases ATA 103 Update and New Revision

This month, Airlines for America (A4A) published bulletin 2017.2: Modified ATA 103 Requirements for Filter Monitors, and released a revised ATA 103 (v2017.2) which includes updates from the bulletin and will replace the previous 2017.1 revision. The bulletin and revised ATA 103 come after the IATA SAP Special Interests Group’s position statement regarding filter monitors. Key highlights of the bulletin and revised ATA 103 include a reduction in the maximum differential pressure (DP) for filter monitor elements to 15psid and the addition of section 3.17 to the ATA 103 which details an Aircraft Fueling Nozzle Strainer Cleaning Procedure for Fueling Equipment with Filter Monitors.

Key highlights of the bulletin include a reduction in the maximum differential pressure (DP) for filter monitor elements to 15psid and the addition of section 3.17 to the ATA 103, which details an Aircraft Fueling Nozzle Strainer Cleaning Procedure for Fueling Equipment with Filter Monitors.