Nigerian regulators are urging tighter adherence to refuelling procedures, over concerns centred on water contamination incidents.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority states that it has been receiving mandatory occurrence reports from carriers relating to water being found in fuel tanks.

These include a “recent” event in which a “significant amount” of water was drained from the fuel tank of a Boeing 737 whose fuel gauges and indicators malfunctioned during flight.

It has issued an all-operators communication highlighting an “urgent need” for carriers and aviation fuel suppliers to improve procedures, owing to their being “inadequate” or “not followed”.

Max Air 737-c-Sm105 Creative Commons

Source: Sm105/Creative Commons

Fuel contamination was cited as one safety issue behind Max Air’s suspension of 737 operations

“Knowledge of the potential risks and hazards associated with aircraft refuelling and how to mitigate them is important for any person involved in aircraft ground handling,” the authority adds.

The procedures, it says, should include a walkaround of the fuel vehicle, to check the overall condition and inspect the fuel hoses and gauges.

Sample fuel from the vehicle, and the aircraft, should be taken during refuelling operations, with the presence of water treated as a “primary concern”, the communication adds.

Within 60 days, the regulator instructs, aircraft fuelling manuals must be updated accordingly and personnel trained in the required procedures.