Maintaining extremely high international aviation fuel supply standards is a complex procedure that guarantees safe and timely refuelling of aircraft.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) undertakes regular compliance checks at numerous aviation fuelling stations around the world. If any discrepancy is found, IATA creates a working group to research the case and suggest an effective solution.
Throughout the year, IATA accumulates and analyses these reports to develop an update or create a new standard for industry-wide use. On a yearly basis, IATA reviews the training courses and ensures that the latest standards are met.
Gazpromneft-Aero, the aviation fuel business of Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft, works with IATA to host an international training programme for aviation fuel supply experts at the Gazpromneft-Aero fuelling station in Novosibirsk.
According to Andrey Muromtsev, head of technical department, Gazpromneft-Aero, the training programme focuses on the quality of aviation fuel and lubricants, fuel storage technology and fuel filtration procedures, the performance of the centralised fuelling system (CFS) and operation of state-of-the-art aerodrome refuellers based on the Volvo chassis. Participants are introduced to the new checklist for fuelling complex inspection, developed by the aviation IATA Fuel Quality Pool (IFQP), a group of airlines that actively share fuel inspection reports and workload at locations worldwide. This includes a demonstration of the express method for checking pressure controllers on fuelling equipment.
Muromtsev says: “This year we’ve seen an increase in the number of attendees: 18 aviation fuel supply specialists from UAE, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia participated in the seventh annual IATA training session in Novosibirsk. There were representatives of Vnukovo and Pulkovo airports; Hava Yollary Airlines, Azerbaijan; and Manas airport, Kyrgyzstan.”
The Novosibirsk training is part of a wider programme initiated by IATA in collaboration with IATA IFQP. There are two types of IATA professional training programmes:
• Airfield inspector training
• Refresh inspector training
The airfield inspector training provides full information on aviation fuelling system and all operations at fuelling station in compliance with IATA standards, whereas refresh training is aimed at recent updates in operations and standards only and requires some knowledge of operations.
The training programme in Novosibirsk is the airfield inspector training for aviation fuel industry professionals who seek to gain fundamental knowledge of all fuelling operations and the most recent IATA standards, as well as best practice in global aviation fuel supply. Similar IATA courses are held in Brussels, Abu Dhabi and Athens.
Muromtsev says: “The course comprises of theory and hands-on training. The theory session takes place in a specially equipped presentation room with information stands, banners and equipment samples. The hands-on training includes demonstration of the full cycle of aviation fuelling: from visit and inspection of tank farm facilities to walk-around inspection of parked into plane equipment. All operations are explained by IFQP-qualified operational personnel from the fuelling station.”
There are only four stations in the world that can host this fundamental IATA training course because they have the required storage and refuelling facilities, including hydrant refuelling system. Novosibirsk is a unique training platform with an aviation refuelling infrastructure that operates in severe weather conditions (temperatures below -50oC).
The fuelling stations are equipped with FSII injectors (Fuel System Icing Inhibitor) to prevent the formation of ice in fuel lines – something that is heavily used in Russia compared to other countries. In addition, the fuel injection system has means to provide heating and isolation to some parts of the system. All fuel pumps at Novosibirsk Fuelling Station are close-type pumps able to operate in low temperatures. Participants in the training programme have a unique opportunity to study this complex refuelling process in practice.
Muromtsev says: “Novosibirsk training is the only industry training held in Russia. We are delighted to be a strategic partner of IATA and host IFQP trainings at our Novosibirsk facility that help us to introduce international aviation fuel supply quality standards in Russia.”
The training costs $2,000 per person for IFQP member airlines and $4,000 per person for non-member airlines. Muromtsev notes: “Companies pay for their employees’ professional training.” Participants get visa and airport pass support; special protective equipment for the practical part of the course; access to a dedicated equipped classroom with required equipment; English to Russian translation of the course; coffee-breaks and meals; entertainment programme; and course materials such as course book, flash drives and stationery.