AerSafe, a supplier of aircraft, engine, and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) used serviceable material, has reported that Boeing 737 NG series aircraft equipped with AerSafe have been exempted from compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration´s (FAA) notice requiring modification of the fuel quantity indicating system (FQIS), the company said.
AerSafe CEO Nicholas Finazzo said, “If the proposed amendment to the Airworthiness Directive (AD) 14 CFR part 39.13 is approved later this year, it will mandate all operators of Boeing 737-600, -700, 700C, -800, -900 and -900ER worldwide to find a viable solution to the FTFR rule.”
Currently AerSafe has a supplemental type certificate (STC) approving AerSafe for the Boeing 737 NG series, and is working on the 737 Classic and 767 with expected approvals by mid-June.
AerSafe is one of the few FAA-approved flammability reduction means that complies with the fuel tank flammability reduction (FTFR) rule. AerSafe limits the amount of available oxygen that can ignite fuel vapors and prevents sparks from igniting an explosion. The proposed AD does not apply to aircraft with the AerSafe system installed. At approximately one quarter of the cost of the nitrogen inerting system over the course of 10 years, AerSafe provides air carriers an economical solution. In addition, AerSafe has a lead time of less than six weeks, and comes as a complete prefabricated kit that can be installed at any hangar around the world. After initial installation, the system requires no maintenance or expensive spare parts.
The FAA enacted the FTFR rule after the crash of TWA flight 800 off the coast of New York. Federal investigations revealed that the accident was the result of an explosion caused by a spark igniting fumes in the center fuel tank of the Boeing 747. The FTFR rule requires fuel tank ignition sources and flammability exposure to be reduced in aircraft most at risk. The FAA gave two options: a flammability reduction means such as nitrogen inerting or an ignition mitigation means such as AerSafe. These systems must be installed by December 26, 2017, on all passenger aircraft that have high flammability fuel tanks and fly within or into the United States.