Precautions to be observed while fueling of aircraft


Standard procedures are recommended to provide guidance to the certifying staff and technicians allotted on aircraft fueling in order to minimize the hazards arising out of fueling operations. These procedures give an overview of the safety measures associated with aircraft Fueling / refueling and the duties of the personnel involved. The recommendations are not to be considered exhaustive and should not take precedence over local rules and procedures. Fueling / refueling is a potentially hazardous operation and therefore requires diligence on the part of all those involved.



 Fuelling – shall mean dispensation of fuels and power boost fluids into an aircraft for the generation of engines power and augmentation of thrust, and shall include both fuelling and defueling.

Fuelling Zone or Precautionary Area – is regarded as the area extending 6 metres radially from the aircraft fuelling point, venting point and fuelling equipment.



 Supervision of Fueling:

The fueling of an aircraft shall be done under the supervision of Certifying Staff holding appropriate authorization on the type of aircraft OR Pilots at outstations (in view of their valid flying license) OR Specifically authorised and shall be carried out by authorized person from the oil company. The Certifying Staff/ Pilot shall ensure that the fueling of an aircraft is carried out in accordance with the prescribed manner by following the conditions laid down by the aircraft manufacturer. The Certifying Staff /Pilot shall not move from the place of fueling leaving the aircraft and fueling vehicles unattended.



 Approval of Fuel Sample and Starting of Fueling:

Fueling of an aircraft by the oil company shall be started only after the fuel samples have been approved by the certifying staff / pilot and a clearance has been given to the oil company to start the fueling operations.

Standard Fueling Precautions

As per the standard procedures, the fueling of aircraft to be supervised by certifying staff /pilots in order to ensure quality fuel is uplifted. The quantity of fuel uplifted is predetermined by the Pilot and aircraft refueled accordingly under the supervision of the certifying staff / pilots.

1) Fueling must be performed under supervision.

2) During fuelling operations, which may include filling or draining of fuel tanks, the following precautions shall be observed :-

(a) Fuelling of aircraft shall be done outdoors and not less than 15 meters from any building.

(b) A NO SMOKING” notice shall be prominently displayed.

(c) Smoking or use of an appliance employing naked flame or use of an appliance capable of producing a spark or in any other way igniting fuel vapours shall not be permitted within 30 meters of the aircraft or fuelling equipment.

(d) Aircraft engines shall not be started or turned and ignition switches shall be placed in the “OFF” position.

(e) Aircraft electrical radar and radio systems shall not be operated and the switches relating thereto shall remain in the “OFF” position:

Provided that this clause shall not apply to electrical switches controlling the following circuits :

(i) power and light essential for fuelling operations;

(ii) minimum amount of cabin lighting; and

(iii) steady parking lights. Such switches shall not be operated during the fuelling operations.

(f) The use of ground power supply units, air-conditioning units, tractors and similar equipment shall be permissible subject to compliance with the following conditions:-

(i) Flexible training cables suitable for use in hazardous areas shall be used.

(ii) They shall be located outside the Danger Zone. “Danger Zone” is defined as the area within the largest polygon obtainable by joining points 3 meters away from the wings and the fuelling vehicle.

(iii) The units, including the associated electrical equipment, shall be flame-proof and of a type approved by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, otherwise they shall be stationed at a distance of not less than 15 meters, in the case of gasoline or wide out fuels and 6 meters in the case of straight kerosine, from the aircraft and the fuelling vehicle.

(iv) They shall not be switched “ON” or “OFF” during fuel transfer.

(g) The fuelling equipment and the aircraft shall be bonded to each other and both shall be earthed.

(h) No person other than the staff of the operator, fuelling company and officials of the Civil Aviation Department, Customs and Police, shall be permitted within 15 meters of the aircraft.

(i) Passengers may be permitted to embark, disembark, or remain in the cabin subject to the following conditions :-

(i) an attendant shall remain on duty in the cabin of the aircraft. The attendant shall ensure that no smoking takes place or other source of ignition is allowed to occur and shall assist in the removal of passengers in the event of fire;

(ii) the passenger loading ramp shall be correctly positioned at the cabin exit door and adequate provision shall be made to maintain the equilibrium of the aircraft in case all passengers attempt to leave by one exit;

(iii) in case of marine aircraft, adequate means of water transport shall be stationed at cabin exit door.

(j) The handling of freight and baggage in and around the aircraft shall not proceed simultaneously with fuelling unless adequate precautions have been taken to eliminate fire risk.

(k) No aircraft maintenance shall be conducted which may provide a source of ignition for fuel vapour during fuelling operations.

(l) Fire extinguishers of adequate capacity and of suitable type, approved by the Director-General shall be available for immediate use near the aircraft.

(m) In the event of fuel being spilled, fuelling must cease and the engine of the ground power supply units must be stopped, but the electrical circuits and switches should on no account be touched except for the purpose of stopping the power unit. Prior to recommencing fuelling, action must be taken to clean the spilled fuel. Fuel must not be washed into sewers or drains.

(n) Fuelling operations shall cease when a turbo-jet aircraft manouvres so as to bring the rear jet outlets within 43 meters of the fuelling equipment or the aircraft.



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