Trail Airport makes quick fix to fuel concerns

A fix to the current aircraft fuelling system at the Trail Regional Airport has avoided a potential tangle with Transport Canada officials.

  • Dec. 10, 2012 1:00 p.m.

A short-term fix to the current aircraft fuelling system at the Trail Regional Airport has avoided a potential tangle with Transport Canada officials.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary airport manager Bryan Teasdale said when the federal government’s Dangerous Goods Civil Aviation inspectors visited in early October they issued a notice of non compliance against the airport and advised upgrades to the delivery of its fuelling services.

The certification of the airport’s aircraft fuelling system was at stake for its customers that included Pacific Coastal, plane charters, Medevac services and helicopters, said Teasdale, even though the revisions were considered “minor.”

The existing truck, a 1975 International, had not moved in years and it did not go off site. It was mostly a containment facility but had not been inspected in some time and was found to be not suitable for fuel transportation.

“They were concerned with us moving and transporting that truck off of site going to other places,” Teasdale said.

However, even though the airport does not actually transport any dangerous goods—the fuel contractor Sequoia Fuels transports them to the airport and they fill up the 3,000-gallon truck where it sat—they were required to replace the current fuel truck leased from Sequoia Fuels with a newer unit that met current Dangerous Goods regulations, he said.

“We had a chance to review and upgrade that fuel truck for the short term to make sure we were in compliance with the regulations if we were ever to move the truck,” Teasdale said. “Now we have a truck that has passed certification and insurance, is road worthy and can transport dangerous goods like jet fuel off the premises if we have to.”

He said there was never any danger to the passengers and staff of Pacific Coastal with the old truck.

The newer 1988 version is fully inspected, certified and pressure tested. A new explosion proof electrical receptacle was installed for precautionary reasons.

Transport Canada also advised ensuring proper documentation was on site at the airport. All of the documentation was down at the RDKB offices.

The old truck was leased for $2,000 per year. The airport now pays $4,000 for the newer truck.

The long term solution, however, isn’t so clear. Teasdale said the airport should ultimately have a card lock fuelling system at the airport, but it would need to be located near a new terminal building and where the planes taxi to.

“But we’re not quite sure what the final layout of what the airport might look like in the future,” he said.