About this chapter: Chapter 20 specifies minimum requirements for the fire-safe operation of airports, heliports and helistops. The principal nonflight operational hazards associated with aviation involve fuel, facilities and operations. Therefore, safe use of flammable and combustible liquids during fueling and maintenance operations is emphasized. Availability of portable Class B:C-rated fire extinguishers for prompt control or suppression of incipient fires is required.
Airports, heliports, helistops and aircraft hangars shall be in accordance with this chapter.
Regulations not specifically contained herein pertaining to airports, aircraft maintenance, aircraft hangars and appurtenant operations shall be in accordance with nationally recognized standards.
For permits to operate aircraft-refueling vehicles, application of flammable or combustible finishes and hot work, see Section 105.5.
Open flames, flame-producing devices and other sources of ignition shall not be permitted in a hangar, except in approved locations or in any location within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of an aircraft-fueling operation.
Smoking shall be prohibited in aircraft-refueling vehicles, aircraft hangars and aircraft operation areas used for cleaning, paint removal, painting operations or fueling. "No Smoking" signs shall be provided in accordance with Section 310.
Exception: Designated and approved smoking areas.
The aircraft operation area (AOA) and related areas shall be kept free from combustible debris at all times.
Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided and maintained in accordance with Chapter 5. Fire apparatus access roads and aircraft parking positions shall be designed in a manner so as to preclude the possibility of fire vehicles traveling under any portion of a parked aircraft.
The dispensing, transferring and storage of flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with this chapter and Chapter 57. Aircraft motor vehicle fuel-dispensing facilities shall be in accordance with Chapter 23.
Combustible materials stored in aircraft hangars shall be stored in approved locations and containers.
Hazardous materials shall be stored in accordance with Chapter 50.
Flammable and combustible liquids shall not be dispensed into or removed from a container, tank, vehicle or aircraft except in approved locations.
The application of flammable or Class II combustible liquid finishes is prohibited unless both of the following conditions are met:
- The application of the liquid finish is accomplished in an approved location.
- The application methods and procedures are in accordance with Chapter 24.
Class IA flammable liquids shall not be used to clean aircraft, aircraft parts or aircraft engines. Cleaning with other flammable and combustible liquids shall be in accordance with Section 5705.3.6.
Sections 2004.4.1 through 2004.4.3 shall apply to spills of flammable and combustible liquids and other hazardous materials. Fuel spill control shall also comply with Section 2006.11.
Activities in the affected area not related to the mitigation of the spill shall cease until the spilled material has been removed or the hazard has been mitigated.
Aircraft or other vehicles shall not be moved through the spill area until the spilled material has been removed or the hazard has been mitigated.
Spills shall be reported, documented and mitigated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and Section 5003.3.
Aircraft engines shall not be run in aircraft hangars except in approved engine test areas.
Repairing of aircraft requiring the use of open flames, spark-producing devices or the heating of parts above 500°F (260°C) shall only be done outdoors or in an area complying with the provisions of the International Building Code for a Group F-1 occupancy.
Maintenance, repairs, modifications, or construction performed on aircraft not addressed elsewhere in this code shall be conducted in accordance with NFPA 410.
Portable fire extinguishers suitable for flammable or combustible liquid and electrical-type fires shall be provided as specified in Sections 2005.2 through 2005.6 and Section 906. Extinguishers required by this section shall be inspected and maintained in accordance with Section 906.
Vehicles used for towing aircraft shall be equipped with not less than one listed portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 and having a minimum rating of 20-B:C.
Welding apparatus shall be equipped with not less than one listed portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 and having a minimum rating of 2-A:20-B:C.
Aircraft fuel-servicing tank vehicles shall be equipped with not less than two listed portable fire extinguishers complying with Section 906, each having a minimum rating of 20-B:C. A portable fire extinguisher shall be provided with ready access from either side of the vehicle.
Hydrant fuel-servicing vehicles shall be equipped with not less than one listed portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 and having a minimum rating of 20-B:C.
Portable fire extinguishers at fuel-dispensing stations shall be located such that pumps or dispensers are not more than 75 feet (22 860 mm) from one such extinguisher. Fire extinguishers shall be provided as follows:
- Where the open-hose discharge capacity of the fueling system is not more than 200 gallons per minute (13 L/s), not less than two listed portable fire extinguishers complying with Section 906 and having a minimum rating of 20-B:C shall be provided.
- Where the open-hose discharge capacity of the fueling system is more than 200 gallons per minute (13 L/s) but not more than 350 gallons per minute (22 L/s), not less than one listed wheeled extinguisher complying with Section 906 and having a minimum extinguishing rating of 80-B:C, and a minimum agent capacity of 125 pounds (57 kg), shall be provided.
- Where the open-hose discharge capacity of the fueling system is more than 350 gallons per minute (22 L/s), not less than two listed wheeled extinguishers complying with Section 906 and having a minimum rating of 80-B:C each, and a minimum capacity agent of 125 pounds (57 kg) each, shall be provided.
Access to portable fire extinguishers required by this chapter shall be maintained at all times. Where necessary, provisions shall be made to clear accumulations of snow, ice and other forms of weather-induced obstructions.
Cabinets and enclosed compartments used to house portable fire extinguishers shall be clearly marked with the words "FIRE EXTINGUISHER" in letters not less than 2 inches (51 mm) high. Cabinets and compartments shall be provided with ready access at all times.
Use of a fire extinguisher under any circumstances shall be immediately reported to the manager of the airport and the fire code official.
Aircraft motor vehicle fuel-dispensing facilities shall be in accordance with Chapter 23.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall comply with this section and shall be designed and constructed in accordance with NFPA 407.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall be equipped and maintained with an approved transfer apparatus.
Where such transfer apparatus is operated by an individual unit of the internal-combustion-motor type, such power unit shall be located as remotely as practicable from pumps, piping, meters, air eliminators, water separators, hose reels and similar equipment, and shall be housed in a separate compartment from any of the aforementioned items. The fuel tank in connection therewith shall be suitably designed and installed, and the maximum fuel capacity shall not exceed 5 gallons (19 L) where the tank is installed on the engine. The exhaust pipe, muffler and tail pipe shall be shielded.
Flexible connections for the purpose of eliminating vibration are allowed if the material used therein is designed, installed and maintained in an approved manner, provided that such connections do not exceed 24 inches (610 mm) in length.
Pumps of a positive-displacement type shall be provided with a bypass relief valve set at a pressure of not more than 35 percent in excess of the normal working pressure of such unit. Such units shall be equipped and maintained with a pressure gauge on the discharge side of the pump.
Hoses shall be designed for the transferring of hydrocarbon liquids and shall not be any longer than necessary to provide efficient fuel-transfer operations. Hoses shall be equipped with an approved shutoff nozzle. Fuel-transfer nozzles shall be self-closing and designed to be actuated by hand pressure only. Notches and other devices shall not be used for holding a nozzle valve handle in the open position. Nozzles shall be equipped with a bonding cable complete with proper attachment for aircraft to be serviced.
Electric wiring, switches, lights and other sources of ignition, where located in a compartment housing piping, pumps, air eliminators, water separators, hose reels or similar equipment, shall be enclosed in a vapor-tight housing. Electrical motors located in such a compartment shall be of a type approved for use as specified in NFPA 70.
Compartments housing piping, pumps, air eliminators, water separators, hose reels and similar equipment shall be adequately ventilated at floor level or within the floor itself.
Ladders, hose reels and similar accessory equipment shall be of an approved type and constructed substantially as follows:
- Ladders constructed of noncombustible material are allowed to be used with or attached to aircraft-fueling vehicles, provided that the manner of attachment or use of such ladders is approved and does not constitute an additional fire or accident hazard in the operation of such fueling vehicles.
- Hose reels used in connection with fueling vehicles shall be constructed of noncombustible materials and shall be provided with a packing gland or other device that will preclude fuel leakage between reels and fuel manifolds.
Transfer apparatus shall be metallically interconnected with tanks, chassis, axles and springs of aircraft-fueling vehicles.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall be provided and maintained with a substantial heavy-duty electrical cable of sufficient length to be bonded to the aircraft to be serviced. Such cable shall be metallically connected to the transfer apparatus or chassis of the aircraft-fueling vehicle on one end and shall be provided with a suitable metal clamp on the other end, to be fixed to the aircraft.
The bonding cable shall be bare or have a transparent protective sleeve and be stored on a reel or in a compartment provided for no other purpose. It shall be carried in such a manner that it will not be subjected to sharp kinks or accidental breakage under conditions of general use.
Smoking in aircraft-fueling vehicles is prohibited. Signs to this effect shall be conspicuously posted in the driver's compartment of all fueling vehicles.
Smoking equipment such as cigarette lighters and ash trays shall not be provided in aircraft-fueling vehicles.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles and all related equipment shall be properly maintained and kept in good repair. Accumulations of oil, grease, fuel and other flammable or combustible materials is prohibited. Maintenance and servicing of such equipment shall be accomplished in approved areas.
Tanks, pipes, hoses, valves and other fuel delivery equipment shall be maintained leak free at all times.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles and related equipment that are in violation of Section 2006.4.1 or 2006.4.2 shall be immediately defueled and removed from service and shall not be returned to service until proper repairs have been made.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles that are operated by a person, firm or corporation other than the permittee or the permittee's authorized employee shall be provided with a legible sign visible from outside the vehicle showing the name of the person, firm or corporation operating such unit.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall not be located, parked or permitted to stand in a position where such unit would obstruct egress from an aircraft should a fire occur during fuel-transfer operations. Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall not be located, parked or permitted to stand under any portion of an aircraft.
Exception: Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall be allowed to be located under aircraft wings during underwing fueling of turbine-engine powered aircraft.
A clear path shall be maintained for aircraft-fueling vehicles to provide for prompt and timely egress from the fueling area.
A clear space of not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) shall be maintained between aircraft fuel-system vent openings and any part or portion of an aircraft-fueling vehicle.
Prior to leaving the cab, the aircraft-fueling vehicle operator shall ensure that the parking brake has been set. Not less than two chock blocks not less than 5 inches by 5 inches by 12 inches (127 mm by 127 mm by 305 mm) in size and dished to fit the contour of the tires shall be utilized and positioned in such a manner as to preclude movement of the vehicle in any direction.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall be electrically bonded to the aircraft being fueled or defueled. Bonding connections shall be made prior to making fueling connections and shall not be disconnected until the fuel-transfer operations are completed and the fueling connections have been removed.
Where a hydrant service vehicle or cart is used for fueling, the hydrant coupler shall be connected to the hydrant system prior to bonding the fueling equipment to the aircraft.
In addition to the bonding cable required by Section 2006.5.2, conductive hose shall be used for all fueling operations.
Transfer nozzles shall be equipped with approved bonding conductors that shall be clipped or otherwise positively engaged with the bonding attachment provided on the aircraft adjacent to the fuel tank cap prior to removal of the cap.
Exception: In the case of overwing fueling where an appropriate bonding attachment adjacent to the fuel fill port has not been provided on the aircraft, the fueling operator shall touch the fuel tank cap with the nozzle spout prior to removal of the cap. The nozzle shall be kept in contact with the fill port until fueling is completed.
Where required, metal funnels are allowed to be used during fueling operations. Direct contact between the fueling receptacle, the funnel and the fueling nozzle shall be maintained during the fueling operation.
Fuel-servicing personnel shall receive approved training in the operation of fire-extinguishing equipment.
During fuel-transfer operations, a qualified person shall be in control of each transfer nozzle and another qualified person shall be in immediate control of the fuel-pumping equipment to shut off or otherwise control the flow of fuel from the time fueling operations are begun until they are completed.
- For underwing refueling, the person stationed at the point of fuel intake is not required.
- For overwing refueling, the person stationed at the fuel-pumping equipment shall not be required where the person at the fuel-dispensing device is within 75 feet (22 800 mm) of the emergency shutoff device; is not on the wing of the aircraft and has a clear and unencumbered path to the fuel-pumping equipment; and the fuel-dispensing line does not exceed 50 feet (15 240 mm) in length.
The fueling operator shall monitor the panel of the fueling equipment and the aircraft control panel during pressure fueling or shall monitor the fill port during overwing fueling.
Fuel flow-control valves shall be operable only by the direct hand pressure of the operator. Removal of the operator's hand pressure shall cause an immediate cessation of the flow of fuel.
Emergency fuel shutoff controls shall be provided with ready access at all times when the fueling system is being operated.
The fueling-system operator shall establish a procedure by which the fire department will be notified in the event of an activation of an emergency fuel shutoff control.
Prior to reestablishment of normal fuel flow, the cause of fuel shutoff conditions shall be determined and corrected.
Emergency fuel shutoff devices shall be operationally tested at intervals not exceeding three months. The fueling-system operator shall maintain testing records.
Before an aircraft-fueling vehicle is moved, fuel-transfer hoses shall be properly placed on the approved reel or in the compartment provided, or stored on the top decking of the fueling vehicle if proper height rail is provided for security and protection of such equipment. Fuel-transfer hose shall not be looped or draped over any part of the fueling vehicle, except as herein provided. Fuel-transfer hose shall not be dragged when such fueling vehicle is moved from one fueling position to another.
Aircraft-fueling vehicles shall be loaded only at an approved loading rack. Such loading racks shall be in accordance with Section 5706.5.1.12.
- Aircraft-refueling units are allowed to be loaded from the fuel tanks of an aircraft during defueling operations.
- Fuel transfer between tank vehicles is allowed to be performed in accordance with Section 5706.6 where the operation is not less than 200 feet (60 960 mm) from an aircraft.
Passenger traffic is allowed during the time fuel-transfer operations are in progress, provided that the following provisions are strictly enforced by the owner of the aircraft or the owner's authorized employee:
- Smoking and producing an open flame in the cabin of the aircraft or the outside thereof within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of such aircraft shall be prohibited.
- Passengers shall not be permitted to linger about the plane, but shall proceed directly between the loading gate and the aircraft.
- Passenger loading stands or walkways shall be left in loading position until all fuel-transfer operations are completed.
- Fuel-transfer operations shall not be performed on the main exit side of any aircraft containing passengers except when the owner of such aircraft or a capable and qualified employee of such owner remains inside the aircraft to direct and assist the escape of such passengers through regular and emergency exits in the event fire should occur during fuel-transfer operations.
Smoking and producing open flames within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a point where fuel is being transferred shall be prohibited. Electrical and motor-driven devices shall not be connected to or disconnected from an aircraft at any time fueling operations are in progress on such aircraft.
Aircraft fuel-servicing equipment shall be maintained and kept free from leaks. Fuel-servicing equipment that malfunctions or leaks shall not be continued in service.
Fuel nozzles shall be carried utilizing appropriate handles. Dragging fuel nozzles along the ground shall be prohibited.
Fueling from drums or other containers having a capacity greater than 5 gallons (19 L) shall be accomplished with the use of an approved pump.
The fueling-system operator shall establish procedures to follow in the event of a fuel spill. These procedures shall be comprehensive and shall provide for all of the following:
- Upon observation of a fuel spill, the aircraft-fueling operator shall immediately stop the delivery of fuel by releasing hand pressure from the fuel flow-control valve.
- Failure of the fuel control valve to stop the continued spillage of fuel shall be cause for the activation of the appropriate emergency fuel shutoff device.
- A supervisor for the fueling-system operator shall respond to the fuel spill area immediately.
The fire department shall be notified of any fuel spill that is considered a hazard to people or property or which meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Any dimension of the spill is greater than 10 feet (3048 mm).
- The spill area is greater than 50 square feet (4.65 m2).
- The fuel flow is continuous in nature.
An investigation shall be conducted by the fueling-system operator of all spills requiring notification of the fire department. The investigation shall provide conclusive proof of the cause and verification of the appropriate use of emergency procedures. Where it is determined that corrective measures are necessary to prevent future incidents of the same nature, they shall be implemented immediately.
Simultaneous delivery of fuel from more than one aircraft-fueling vehicle to a single aircraft-fueling manifold is prohibited unless proper backflow prevention devices are installed to prevent fuel flow into the tank vehicles.
Operation of aircraft onboard engines and combustion heaters shall be terminated prior to commencing fuel-servicing operations and shall remain off until the fuel-servicing operation is completed.
Exception: In an emergency, a single jet engine is allowed to be operated during fuel servicing where all of the following conditions are met:
- The emergency shall have resulted from an onboard failure of the aircraft's auxiliary power unit.
- Restoration of auxiliary power to the aircraft by ground support services is not available.
- The engine to be operated is either at the rear of the aircraft or on the opposite side of the aircraft from the fuel-servicing operation.
- The emergency operation is in accordance with a written procedure approved by the fire code official.
During aircraft-fueling operations, only the equipment actively involved in the fueling operation is allowed within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of the aircraft being fueled. Other equipment shall be prohibited in this area until the fueling operation is complete.
A clear space of not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) shall be maintained between aircraft fuel-system vent openings and any part or portion of aircraft-servicing vehicles or equipment.
Exception: Aircraft-fueling operations utilizing single-point refueling with a sealed, mechanically locked fuel line connection and the fuel is not a Class I flammable liquid.
Vehicles or equipment shall not be allowed beneath the trailing edge of the wing when aircraft fueling takes place over the wing and the aircraft fuel-system vents are located on the upper surface of the wing.
Electrical equipment, including but not limited to, battery chargers, ground or auxiliary power units, fans, compressors or tools, shall not be operated, nor shall they be connected or disconnected from their power source, during fuel-servicing operations.
Open flames and open-flame devices are prohibited within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of any aircraft fuel-servicing operation or fueling equipment.
The fire code official is authorized to establish other locations where open flames and open-flame devices are prohibited.
Personnel assigned to and engaged in fuel-servicing operations shall not carry matches or lighters on or about their person. Matches or lighters shall be prohibited in, on or about aircraft-fueling equipment.
The fire code official is authorized to require the airport authority and the fueling-system operator to establish written procedures to follow when lightning flashes are detected on or near the airport. These procedures shall establish criteria for the suspension and resumption of aircraft-fueling operations.
Aircraft fuel-transfer operations shall be prohibited indoors.
Exception: In aircraft hangars built in accordance with the provisions of the International Building Code for Group F-1 occupancies, aircraft fuel-transfer operations are allowed where either of the following conditions exist:
- Necessary to accomplish aircraft fuel-system maintenance operations. Such operations shall be performed in accordance with nationally recognized standards.
- The fuel being used has a flash point greater than 100°F (37.8°C).
Access for fire service equipment to aircraft shall be maintained during fuel-servicing operations.
The requirements for fueling operations contained in this section shall also apply to aircraft defueling operations. Additional procedures shall be established by the fueling-system operator to prevent overfilling of the tank vehicle used in the defueling operation.
Hoses used to fuel or defuel aircraft shall be inspected periodically to ensure their serviceability and suitability for continued service. The fuel service operator shall maintain records of all tests and inspections performed on fueling hoses. Hoses found to be defective or otherwise damaged shall be immediately removed from service.
Each hose shall be inspected daily. This inspection shall include a complete visual scan of the exterior for evidence of damage, blistering or leakage. Each coupling shall be inspected for evidence of leaks, slippage or misalignment.
A more thorough inspection, including pressure testing, shall be accomplished for each hose on a monthly basis. This inspection shall include examination of the fuel delivery inlet screen for rubber particles, which indicates problems with the hose lining.
Hose that has been subjected to severe abuse shall be immediately removed from service. Such hoses shall be hydrostatically tested prior to being returned to service.
Hoses are allowed to be repaired by removing the damaged portion and recoupling the undamaged end. When recoupling hoses, only couplings designed and approved for the size and type of hose in question shall be used. Hoses repaired in this manner shall be visually inspected and hydrostatically tested prior to being placed back in service.
New hose shall be visually inspected prior to being placed into service.
Unattended aircraft fuel-servicing vehicles shall be parked in areas that provide for both the unencumbered dispersal of vehicles in the event of an emergency and the control of leakage such that adjacent buildings and storm drains are not contaminated by leaking fuel.
Parking areas for tank vehicles shall be designed and utilized such that a clearance of 10 feet (3048 mm) is maintained between each parked vehicle for fire department access. In addition, a minimum clearance of 50 feet (15 240 mm) shall be maintained between tank vehicles and parked aircraft and structures other than those used for the maintenance or garaging of aircraft fuel-servicing vehicles.
Aircraft fuel-servicing operations shall be prohibited while the weather-mapping radar of that aircraft is operating.
Aircraft fuel-servicing or other operations in which flammable liquids, vapors or mists could be present shall not be conducted within 300 feet (91 440 mm) of an operating aircraft surveillance radar.
Aircraft fuel-servicing operations shall not be conducted within 300 feet (91 440 mm) of airport flight traffic surveillance radar equipment.
Aircraft fuel-servicing or other operations in which flammable liquids, vapors or mists could be present shall not be conducted within 100 feet (30 480 mm) of airport ground traffic surveillance radar equipment.
The beam from ground radar equipment shall not be directed toward fuel storage or loading racks.
The touchdown area shall be surrounded on all sides by a clear area having minimum average width at roof level of 15 feet (4572 mm) and not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) at any point. The clear area shall be maintained.
Landing areas on structures shall be maintained so as to confine flammable or Class II combustible liquid spillage to the landing area itself, and provisions shall be made to drain such spillage away from exits or stairways serving the helicopter landing area or from a structure housing such exit or stairway.
Exits and stairways shall be maintained in accordance with Section 412.7 of the International Building Code.
A building with a rooftop helistop or heliport shall be provided with a Class I or III standpipe system extended to the roof level on which the helistop or heliport is located. All portions of the helistop and heliport area shall be within 150 feet (45 720 mm) of a 21/2-inch (63.5 mm) outlet on the standpipe system.
Not less than one portable fire extinguisher having a minimum 80-B:C rating shall be provided for each permanent takeoff and landing area and for the aircraft parking areas. Installation, inspection and maintenance of these extinguishers shall be in accordance with Section 906.