The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has started an investigation after receiving reports of significant quantities of water-contaminated fuel within an aircraft. The authority will investigate Nigeria’s airports and fuel suppliers to identify the root cause of the issue.
NCAA has also alerted airlines operating flights to and from Nigeria to be vigilant about refueling aircraft in order to ensure fuel quality is up to the industry standard.
The issue was first discovered when a Max Air Boeing 737-300 earlier this month experienced the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) shutting down due to fuel contamination. This happened while the aircraft was on the ground at Yola International Airport (YOL).
As per a report by the Independent, the fuel was dumped on the airport apron, during which time multiple drums of water were collected from both aircraft tanks. The airline had purchased the fuel from Lagos, Abuja and Kano leading NCAA to initiate investigation for water checks at fuel supplier end.
Apart from the above, NCAA will also examine the browsers and fuel procedures of Max Air to ensure the airline was following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The authority has warned that any party identified as having issues will have their license to operate suspended.
As an additional precaution, the petroleum regulatory agency in Nigeria will also be consulted to ensure the problem has been solved.