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:
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.