Is your aviation fuel drum fit for purpose?

Here at IOR, we’re committed to ensuring the fuel you put into your aircraft is free from contamination and we’d like to help you do the same. Correct storage plays an integral role in eliminating any contamination and when storing aviation fuel in a drum that’s not fit for purpose, both your safety and the condition of your aircraft are placed at risk.

When assessing whether a fuel drum is or isn’t fit for purpose, there several tell-tale signs which you’re able to draw on. We’ve compiled a list below.

Check the fuel drum ‘Use by Date’

All aviation fuel drums have a ‘use by date’ which is 12 months after they were first filled. This date may be extended for a further 12 months once it’s undergone a re-certification test to verify it complies with specifications. There is; however, a high cost involved in doing so and in many cases it is probably more cost-effective to purchase a new drum.


The most obvious sign that your fuel drum might not be fit for purpose is rust. A rusty fuel drum not only isn’t safe for storage, but the rust particles also contaminate the fuel you’re placing in your aircraft.


Scratches on your drum down to bare metal mean it’s time for an upgrade. These scratches weaken the drum’s lining which risks the development of rust and eventual leakage.


Dents in your fuel drums constitute immediate disposal. These dents cause the failure of the drum lining and weaken the drum. These dents also reduce the amount of space available for vapour leading to over pressurisation and flammable vapour escaping.

Blown tops

If there is a rise in the top of the drum, this means there has been a case of excessive internal pressure and the drum lining is now damaged.

Damage to bungs

Any damage to bungs means water has probably entered the drum and contaminated your fuel. If you’re stacking drums horizontally, your fuel has also likely leaked. The drum should be discarded immediately.

What to do next?

If any of your fuel drums have any of the above signs of damage, it’s time to put them out to pasture. Cleanway offer an empty drum disposal service.

Alternatively, after disposing any contaminated fuel within the drum and giving them a clean that meets the guidelines provided by the EPA, a quick search online could give you hundreds of ideas!

If you need a new drum, call us today! Our team has purpose-built aviation fuel drums for either Avgas or Jet A-1 and petroleum drums available for you to purchase.