Airlines engaged in contaminated fuel collaborating – NCAA

Bisola David
Bisola David
NCAA discovers illegal fuel suppliers at airports

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority stated that the airlines involved in the recent contaminated aviation fuel were cooperating with the investigation.

According to the Punch, NCAA stopped all of Max Air’s Boeing B737 aircraft due to contaminated fuel found in them.

The fuel stations responsible for the contaminated fuel have not been identified, according to the NCAA’s director of public affairs, Sam Adurogboye.

He asserted that the loss experienced by the owner of Max Air, Dahiru Mangal, at the time caused the procedure to identify the fuel stations involved in the contaminated fuel to be delayed.

He did, however, claim that the affected airlines were working with the organization and taking the necessary actions.

“The fuel stations have not been identified,” he said. The investigation was delayed since the proprietor of Max Air experienced a loss when his wife passed away. Just to be clear, and as a result, we have to pause our action.”

He added that things are steadily improving as the airlines are taking the necessary action in response. “We can choose the best course of action moving forward with the help of the result. Please be patient.”

The former commandant of the Lagos Airport, Group Capt. John Ojikutu, claimed that airlines appear to place greater emphasis on maximizing profits than on passenger safety.

Ojikutu stressed the need for marketers of aviation fuel to be held to the same standards of regulation as those governing clearance and ground-handling service providers.

He continued by saying that there were over 20 fuel sellers at airports and he questioned whether the NCAA or the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission was the body that had given the go-ahead for their operations.

“If you want safe aviation operations, he advised, limit the number of the big marketers to no more than three. Start with the international airlines’ fuel suppliers, who aren’t complaining about the chaos that is enveloping our domestic airlines.

“Aren’t fuel marketers subject to the same safety rules as catering services and freight handling businesses?

He stated that he is aware that in or around 2018, the NNPC, the former DPR, offered to the NCAA and the marketers to set up a testing facility at the airport’s fuel depot.”

He also claimed that the marketers had complained about the price but he questioned what action the NCAA had taken in response.

“I propose that the NCAA reinstate all former AIB safety recommendations on fuel contamination that had not been put into practice and make sure that responsible marketers are required to put the necessary safety recommendations into practice or be barred from providing commercial fuel services.”

Ojikutu emphasized that while the airlines’ mistakes and carelessness in monitoring their fuel supplies must be scrutinized, similar scrutiny must be applied to the supply chain and services provided by fuel marketers.

He said that since the pipelines from Mosimi in Shagamu ruptured in 1992, fuel supplies to airports, particularly the Lagos airport, have been provided by tanker trucks.

Ojikutu questioned whose job it was to inspect such tankers before they were filled with jet-A1 for airport supply.

In order to considerably lessen dependency on tankers, he recommended that the NNPC fix the pipelines and create a direct connection between the airport depot and the neighbouring Ejigbo depot.

According to Ojikutu, cutting the tanker supply and using the fuel station supply hydrants on the aprons will help reduce the problems with fuel quality brought on by the current supply chain.

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