Investigation launched into Schiphol fuel failure

Schiphol Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport. Jul 16, 2015Photo: Boarding2Now/DepositPhotos

Schiphol and Aircraft Fuel Supply asked research agency TNO to investigate a major failure that made it impossible for planes to be refueled at the airport last week Wednesday. "Once the cause has been determined, we can also see how we could have prevented this", Inge Stegman, director of Aircraft Fuel Supply, said to ANP.

Aircraft Fuel Supply is a third party company that, as the name suggests, controls the fuel supply to aircraft. A technical issue last week resulted in no planes being refueled at Schiphol between 1:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday. By the time the issue was resolved, hundreds of flights had been canceled or delayed for hours. Tens of thousands of passengers were affected. On Thursday a total of 100 flights were canceled by various airlines, Schiphol said.

According to Aircraft Fuel Supply, the problem lay with a failure in the electrical supply of the kerosene installations. This malfunction caused the system to switch itself off as a precaution, damaging it in several places. Replacement parts had to be flown in from far away. "We had a helicopter from the Koninklijke Marechausee collect special parts form the south of the country", Stegman said to ANP. This is the first time Aircraft Fuel Supply made any statements about the failure. 

According to Stegman, the cause of the failure is still unknown. She hopes that the investigation will be complete by the end of the year. She would not say much about compensation for affected airlines and travelers. "If there are claims, I can imagine that lawyers should think something of it. I have no clue about that."

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