European safety regulators are extending fuel-icing prevention modifications to Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent engines.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued an airworthiness directive ordering replacement of fuel-oil heat exchangers in Trent 500 and 700 powerplants.

Trent 800 engines for the Boeing 777 are already the subject of a similar directive, the result of investigations into the British Airways 777 accident at London Heathrow last year.

But an incident at Manchester in May, involving an Etihad A330, led Airbus to suggest that Trent engines on the A330 and A340-500/600 might also need precautionary modification.

EASA's new directive states: "The incident has indicated the potential susceptibility to ice blockage for Airbus aircraft in combination with [Rolls-Royce] engines that feature similar fuel systems to the Trent 800."

It is requiring heat exchangers in Trent 500s and 700s to be modified within 6,000 flight hours from 10 July 2009, or before 1 January 2011, whichever falls first.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news