The U.S. FAA issued a final rule, requiring operators and manufacturers of transport category airplanes to take steps that, in combination with other required actions, should greatly reduce the chances of a catastrophic fuel tank explosion. The final rule does not direct the adoption of specific inerting technology either by manufacturers or operators, but establishes a performance-based set of requirements that set acceptable flammability exposure values in tanks most prone to explosion or require the installation of an ignition mitigation means in an affected fuel tank. Technology now provides a variety of commercially feasible methods to accomplish these vital safety objectives.
The U.S. aircraft that will be retrofitted include approximately 2,730 aircraft belonging to the A320 family of 900 airplanes, 50 A330s, 965 Boeing 737s, 60 Boeing 747s, 475 Boeing 757s, 150 Boeing 767s and 130 Boeing 777s. (FAA, DoT)