EASA Mandates Fuel Tank Work For A318s, A319s, A320s

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EASA issued an airworthiness directive (2012-0133) mandating installation of ground fault interrupters (GFI) on Airbus A318, A319, and A320 center fuel tank pump control systems as part of the industry-wide effort to minimize fuel tank flammability risk. Says the regulator: 

EASA have determined that the electrical power supply circuits of certain fuel pumps, installed on A320 family aeroplanes, for which the canisters become uncovered during normal operation, could, under certain conditions, create an ignition source in the tank vapour space. 

The directive, effective August 1, gives operators 48 months (or until August 1, 2016) to make the modifications. Airbus issued a service bulletin on the GFI kits in March.

EasyJet, which has about 200 affected aircraft, asked EASA for a 72-month compliance window so the carrier could more easily work the modifications into its Airbus maintenance program. EasyJet's "equalized check" program includes an intermediate visit every 72 months; the carrier said this check would be the most logical for accomplishing the work.

EASA, saying the issue's risk assessment "does not support a threshold/interval extension," declined the request.

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