7 Interesting Things I Have Learnt During My First Year in Aviation

For those of you who regularly visit our blog, you may remember reading our first Team Member Spotlight post  just after Vicky joined the team as our Office Manager. In August she celebrated one year with eJet and she is back on the blog again to share with us some of the most interesting things she has learnt about the Aviation Industry during that time.

1. Jet fuel is the one component of flight that is not duplicated.
Aircraft have two pilots, multiple engines etc. However, if something goes wrong with the fuel there is no back up. This means that jet fuel product quality and safe handling procedures are paramount.

2. All airports are required to have a “Master Plan”
In 2003 the UK Government released a white paper entitled “The Future of Air Transport” in which it stated that all UK airports were expected to produce or update an existing Master Plan within the following 12 months. These Master Plans should provide growth forecasts, infrastructure proposals, land requirements, access strategies and planning options.

3. Every second around 8000 to 9000 litres of jet fuel is consumed by the Aviation Industry.
A Boeing 777 alone (below) can uplift 170,000 litres. Jet fuel demand varies from continent to continent. In Europe the demand is approximately 50 million tonnes per year whereas in the Middle East the demand is approximately 16 million tonnes per year (and growing fast).

4. There are 242 airports in the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme.
The programme was set up by ACI Europe in June 2009 and aims to help airports map their carbon reduction effects and increase general airport sustainability. There are currently 37 carbon neutral airports around the world. 5 of these are in the UK; Gatwick, East Midlands, Stanstead, Farnborough and Manchester.

5. Some Airports retain historic airport codes.
Whilst the majority of IATA airport codes are the first three letters of the city where they are located or a mixture of letters from the airport name (Singapore= SIN or Stanstead = STN for example), some airports retain historic codes that bear no reflection on their current name.
PEK = Beijing – formally Peking
BOM = Mumbai – formally Bombay
SGN = Ho Chi Minh City – formally Saigon

6. It isn’t unusual to put a pig in a pipe.
Imagine my surprise on first joining eJet when I heard colleagues in the office discussing the logistics of running a pig through an airport hydrant pipeline! Noticing the shocked look on my face and remembering I was new to the industry, they quickly explained to me that a pig was in fact a tool used for inspection and cleaning. Not a curly tail in sight.

7. Jet fuel related incidents are fortunately very few and far between
The aviation industry is heavily regulated and stringent procedures are in place for the moving and handling of jet fuel. Before a drop of fuel even enters the aircraft, it will have gone through numerous quality checks, including by the pilot who can request a sample to check that it is “clear and bright” amongst other things. Only one serious incident has occurred in recent years due to jet fuel contamination and that was on a Cathay Pacific flight from Surabaya in 2010. The hydrant system had become contaminated during extension works and particulate matter broke the filters through which the fuel passes into the aircraft. In turn, these damaged filter elements caused some of the engine components to seize up. 57 passengers were treated for minor injuries, most of these were gained on exit of the aircraft after an emergency landing was performed.

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