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Project OS 11/06 - Amendment to CAO 20.9 (Air Service Operations - precautions in refuelling, engine & ground radar operations) - Earthing of aircraft and refuelling equipment at refuelling site

Topic code: 
Flight Operations
Project status: 
Closed

Consultation documents

  • Consultation Draft - Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 20.9 - Air service operations - precautions in refuelling, engine and ground radar operations

History

This project is now closed.

30 Aug 2011

Project OS 11/06 - Amendment to CAO 20.9 (Air Service Operations - precautions in refuelling, engine & ground radar operations) - Earthing of aircraft and refuelling equipment at refuelling site

This project is now closed.

Refer to the project closure notes for further information.

6 May 2011

Consultation Draft - Civil Aviation Order (CAO) 20.9 - Air service operations - precautions in refuelling, engine and ground radar operations

Comments close Monday 23 May 2011.

3 Mar 2011

Project OS 11/06 - Amendment to CAO 20.9 (Air Service Operations - precautions in refuelling, engine & ground radar operations) - Earthing of aircraft and refuelling equipment at refuelling site

Project approved.

Closure notes

On 13 July 2011, the Director of Aviation Safety made Civil Aviation Order 20.9 Amendment Instrument 2011 (No. 1). This Amendment Order was registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 15 July 2011 and came into effect on 16 July 2011.

Issue

CASA has been providing exemptions to various operators because fuel suppliers have advised that grounding is not necessary during aircraft fuelling operations as currently required (where possible) by the instructions in CAO 20.9 paragraph 4.3.4.

Section CAO 20.9 of the Civil Aviation Orders (CAOs) is made under sub regulation 235(7) and sets out CASA's directions for loading fuel on aircraft. CAO 20.9 paragraph 4.3.4 states the aircraft and all items of fuelling equipment (including drums, funnels and other loose items of equipment where used) must be connected in such a way as to ensure that they are of the same electrical potential, and where a suitable earth point is available at a fuelling site, both the aircraft and the equipment must be effectively connected to that point.

The Australasian Aviation Ground Safety Incorporated, recommended industry practice (RIP) bulletin No 22, 01 November 2009 highlights the importance of the correct 'bonding' process. That is providing electrical continuity between the refuelling vehicle and the aircraft to avoid the build up of static electricity caused when pumping highly refined products such as Jet fuel or Aviation Gasoline (Avgas).

The bulletin advises that the practice of 'earthing', being the connecting of a wire between an object and earth, during refuelling operations is no longer carried out. The reasons given are taken from the USA National Fire Protection Association bulletin number 407, Standard for Aircraft Fuel Servicing document. Australian refuelling operators have accepted this standard and do not earth aircraft or fuel equipment but bond the aircraft to the fuelling equipment. The fuel supply industry first became aware of the 'earthing' issue in the early 1990's.

Proposed Part 91.475 is silent about the CAO requirement for 'earthing' and requires electrically bonding only, between the aircraft and all the fuelling equipment to be used prior to the fuel tank cap being removed. An AC titled 'Fuel and oil safety' has been developed that supports the Part 91 regulations which gives guidance on the aspects of fuelling safety which includes the issue of correct bonding.

Consequences of no action are the administrative burden for both the industry and CASA and the unnecessary cost to the industry of providing exemptions to operators. In the worst case there could be a hazardous situation should an operator earth the aircraft and fuelling equipment in accordance with the CAO requirement.

Project Objective

To amend CAO 20.9 paragraph 4.3.4, and reduce the administrative burden for both CASA and the industry and the cost to the industry. In addition, it will bring the CAO up to date with the policy direction as proposed under CASR Part 91 - General operating and flight rules.

Status

This project was approved by Peter Boyd, Executive Manager Standards Development & Future Technology Division on 1 March 2011.

Rules affected

CAO 20.9

Project management

Project Leader: Stuart Jones

Project Sponsor: Peter Boyd, Executive Manager, Standards Development

Standards Development Project Manager: Stuart Jones, Standards Development

Project Priority

Medium

Project OS 11/06