NCAA identifies suppliers of contaminated aviation fuel

NCAA identifies suppliers of contaminated aviation fuel

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has identified two aviation fuel suppliers.

According to NCAA, the two individuals were alleged to have supplied contaminated fuel to an aircraft belonging to Max Air.

The Director, Airworthiness Standards, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA Gbolahan Abatan, who disclosed this
at a stakeholders meeting held via zoom on Thursday said, the culprits were discovered by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA.

Since the discovery of fuel contamination in an aircraft operated by Max air on May 2023, the Nigeria Civil Authority, NCAA embarked on an investigation to identify the culprits, all fuel suppliers storage facilities and processes in the loading and dispensing of the product into the aircraft.

According to the NCAA, this is to ascertain the suppliers adherence to their requirements and standards regarding the quality of fuel and supply to ensure continued flight safety

This incident led to the grounding of all Boeing 737 aircraft in the fleet of the airline by the NCAA.

Abatan said in his over two decades in the industry, he had never seen so much litres of water drained from an aircraft engine due to contamination.

According to him, the two suppliers identified by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA to be responsible for the adulterated aviation fuel are not on the list of the NCAA as suppliers to the industry.

“Some are operating, supplying fuel without going through the process of certification and we have identified them and have discovered two companies that are likely to be the culprits,” he said.

Investigation by the NCAA also revealed that, the aircraft in question, took fuel from Lagos, Abuja and Kano airports.

The Director General, National Safety Investigation Bureau, NSIB, Akin Olateru said, “the NCAA, should not to overrule sabotage in their ongoing investigation on this matter.”

He recalled that, in one of its safety recommendations to the NCAA, it recommended that attention should be given to the quality of fuel and its loading.

“Series of issues relating to fuel accident like the Bell 427 of the Nigeria Police force at a time, a safety recommendation was issued that the NCAA and DPR to launch an independent enquiry into aviation fuel quality in Nigeria”.

The Chief Operating Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed said they are not ruling out blending of kerosene to aviation fuel to increase quantity in their investigation.

“But we are not suspecting that but we are just trying to preempt any possibility, we have to work together with the NCAA,” he said.

Vice President and spokesman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Mr. Allen Onyema and Dr. Obiora Okonkwo said, the issue is of grave concern and scary and proposed amongst others certification of the bowsers and punishment for violators.

“We news to take charge right from the port of shipment, training is very important for those who operate the browsers and whoever was involved in that and those found guilty must be used to set example”.

Director, Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu said, the essence of the meeting is to get to the root cause or causes of the problem, identify gaps and have a multi-faceted approach to dealing with this matter.
Nosa Aituamen

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