The team here at Conidia are very busy discussing with customers the increased threat of microbial contamination, especially with airlines and their grounded aircraft.
Microbial contamination should be carefully monitored, and OEM guidelines should be followed as to the frequency of testing, remedial action and mitigation of risk at this time with grounded aircraft. One issue reported is that the fuel in tanks is not subject to the normal turbulence of daily flights and the regular refuelling that mixes and spreads any potential contamination.
One operator in the Middle East reported to us a novel and simple solution they have employed to try and avoid this issue at little cost. They tow the aircraft around the apron as often as possible to agitate the fuel in the tanks and this also helps in rotating the tyres to prevent flat spots, as well as other knock-on benefits.
Through our discussions we are working on an information portal to share best practice and guidance for microbial testing, soon to be published on www.conidia.com. We will post again when that information is available. More general information on microbial contamination issues and testing is already available on the website and we will keep providing updates as soon as practical.