WestJet adopts Jetaire's Invicta amidst FAA's push for flammability reduction

  • WestJet chooses Jetaire Group's Invicta foam solution for compliance with FAA's Fuel Tank Flammability Reduction Rule.
  • Canadian MRO provider KF Aerospace is set to install Invicta, promising quicker installations than competitors.
  • Jetaire has secured several approvals for Invicta and is pursuing further certifications for other aircraft models.

CALGARY — WestJet, the second-largest Canadian airline, is opting to enhance its Boeing 737 fleet in response to the FAA's Fuel Tank Flammability Reduction (FTFR) Rule. The company's decision zeroes in on the Invicta foam solution by Jetaire Group, known for its effectiveness in preventing fuel ignition within aircraft tanks.

This foam technology, uniquely tailored to minimize fuel movement, serves a dual purpose. It fills the tank's oxygen-rich areas and significantly cuts down the risks associated with weight redistribution and friction, which could otherwise lead to potentially dangerous sparks.

WestJet's strategic move sees Canadian MRO specialist, KF Aerospace, at the helm of Invicta's installation. The recent collaboration between KF Aerospace and Jetaire promises Canadian customers a streamlined integration process. Notably, the procedure's duration stands at 2-4 days for narrowbody planes, while widebody aircraft take 4-5 days — remarkably efficient compared to competing solutions.

In the broader context of aviation safety, several products aim to address fuel tank flammability challenges. To name a few, there's AerSale's AerSafe, akin to Invicta in its foam-based design. Alternatives include retrofittable air separation module kits from Honeywell and diverse solutions from AeroParts, which incorporate a nitrogen-generating system.

Jetaire isn't just making waves in Canada. They have garnered international acclaim, securing endorsements for Invicta from regulatory bodies such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, Mexico’s Federal Aviation Agency, and Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency.

The FAA's pivotal FTFR rule serves as a cornerstone for these advancements. It enforces specific aircraft to employ flammability reduction methodologies or ignition prevention systems, like the foam-based Invicta. With a looming 2026 deadline, aircraft devoid of such features must undergo crucial modifications to meet the stipulated standards.

Adding to Jetaire's achievements is the recent approval from Transport Canada. Their supplemental type certificate (STC) for Invicta's application on Boeing 737NG aircraft ensures alignment with the FAA's 2020-18-13 airworthiness directive. This specific directive emphasizes the need for modifications, particularly in the fuel quantity indicating system of certain Boeing 737 variants, to negate any ignition threats due to electrical faults. Beyond this, Jetaire's product aligns with multiple regulatory standards, further fortifying its position in the realm of aircraft safety.

In terms of expansion, Jetaire is in a relentless pursuit of excellence. With an existing FAA approval for Invicta's use on 737s, 757s, 767s, and Airbus A320, they are now venturing into securing the STC for 777 and A330-200 series aircraft. As for the timeline, the A330-200's STC is on track for a conclusion between August and September. Meanwhile, the 777's STC is projected for a third quarter 2024 completion.