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Jetfuel Storage At Airports  
User currently offlineVikingA346 From Sweden, joined Oct 2006, 515 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5739 times:

Hi all, was just in PER planespotting today and it reminded me of a question I've had for years.. Where is jetfuel stored at airports? Is it in big containers underground? Hubs like HKG, BKK, LAX must use unbelievable amounts of fuel to fill all of their heavies - where does all this come from and how do the containers get filled?

An answer more than "a truck fills the container" would be nice!!!

Cheers


...you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you shall return
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2614 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5734 times:

Every airport has a tank farm which gives them a couple of days cushion for use. At a major hub like ATL, DL has their own tank farm. The farms can be either filled by direct pipline or tanker truck. I used to work at SYR. There they filled the farm with tankers. Those trucks were always driving by our hangar.

User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 33
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5724 times:

There must be enough tanks to allow them to settle. When a tank is completely full, it is left for a while for any sediment to fall down to the bottom of the tank. The fuel is then removed from the tank by a floating pipe so that it is removed from the top. At most large airports these tanks are filled by a pipeline, or by train. ARN has just reired its fleet of road tankers which used to supply the airport, over 50 trips a day!. We now have a train once a day. The fuel from the tanks is usually pumped through an underground pipeline out to the gates. If you see small lorries filling the aircraft, they are usually dispensers. They couple up to the pipeline through a hydrant, and meter and filter the fuel into the aircraft. Even large airports have tankers as well, to cater for off stand refuelling, and defuelling. The fuel quality is continuosly controlled, especially the water content. A sample of fuel is taken, usually with every refuelling and the water content checked. (It must be zero). Its checking, checking, checking the whole way. But the fuel is very clean. It is extremly unusual to find any contaminant.

User currently offlineTurkee From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5716 times:

I work for Skippers at PER, VikingA346 - I know that at PER we simply use the Air BP tankers that come around. We have one on contract to us for the entire day, and on-call at night (Air BP only have one person on the night shift, evidently). This is at the regional terminal side of things, so we don't have underground tanks. Over at the main domestic terminal they would most likely have underground tanks, and certainly at the international terminal, simply due to the volume of fuel that would be uplifted in some of those aircraft.

I believe it is produced at the refinery in Kwinana.

At some of our out-ports we have established our own fuel storage facility, in conjuction with the mine site and Air BP. This is basically a giant tank which BP comes and fills up for us when we require it. We also have Jet A1 stored in drums at various places, which we use a fuel pump for transfering.

Probably not quite what you were looking for, but a bit of information about the airport where you were spotting, at least  Smile


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5728 times:

At RIC they use above ground tanks. They have about 5-6 what look to be 10,000 gallon tanks. They are filled by truck. The fuel truck that fills the plane comes over, tops off, then goes back to filling up planes. We usually don't get anything too large here that requires a lot of fuel.


Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5723 times:

CLE has two major tanks on the Northeast Corner of the property, and I believe there is also a fuel farm in the Cuyahoga River Valley (or as we call, "The Flats").

User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5723 times:
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At JFK we have a pretty large fuel farm. Someone told me that it is filled by direct pipeline. Most flights are filled by pump trucks the fuel from the underground pipelines but cargo areas and the RJ's use tankers as the are not parked near a fuel pit.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineVikingA346 From Sweden, joined Oct 2006, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5703 times:

Thanks for all the responses - very interesting...

So... I understand it varies from airport to airport but what I understand is that there is usually multiple sources of fuel - which all the airlines use.. I wonder if each airline has a contract with the fuel company, or how exactly it works?

Also just curious, how much is jet fuel compared to unleaded fuel we put into our motor vehicles? I'd imagine the airlines have massive deals with the fuel suppliers, so maybe there isn't a given cost, but if there is, I'd like to know  Smile

Cheers



...you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you shall return
User currently onlineTristarsteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 33
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5690 times:

Quoting VikingA346 (Reply 7):
I wonder if each airline has a contract with the fuel company, or how exactly it works?

Scheduled airlines have agreements. On our airport there are 7 fuel suppliers, 2 into-plane agents, but only one tank farm. If you buy your fuel from Statoil, an SFS truck will deliver it, but the fuel comes out of a common hydrant. i.e. all the fuel on the airport is the same.
When you go out on an unscheduled charter, you take a carnet with you. This looks like your Shell credit card, but it works at airports, for thousands of litres. (Fuel is delivered in US gallons in the States and Iceland, and in litres in Europe.)


User currently offlineTurkee From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5668 times:

$1.80/litre AUD for Jet A1 is pretty standard.

User currently offlineJamesbuk From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 3968 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5652 times:

I believe Heathrow used to get a large percentage of jet fuel from Buncefield oil depo (sp?) through a pipeline, but it ceases to exist anymore since it blew up 10 months ago.

rgds --James--



You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
User currently offlineKhenleyDIA From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 427 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5576 times:

Probably comes as no surprise, but here in Africa, virtually all fuel transfers are done with tankers. At LUN, you can often see a rather large line of tankers waiting in line to drop their load of fuel. However, with that said, I don't remember right off hand seeing holding tanks, but I know that they are there somewhere. Even delivery to the planes is by tanker. I believe one of the biggest loads of fuel is delivered to BA's scheduled flight to LHR. That takes a while and usually the tanker is made up of 2 trailers.

This is a problem in many places though. If they don't get their fuel supply on-time, they don't have much of a buffer. Flights start having to stop in other countries on the way or out, just to make sure they have enough fuel to make it back to complete their journey. This has happened to me a couple of times.

If I remember correctly DEN can pump something like 1,100 gallons a minute from their fuel system from their fuel farm at the airport.

KhenleyDIA



Why sit at home and do nothing when you can travel the world.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5568 times:

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 2):
ARN has just reired its fleet of road tankers which used to supply the airport, over 50 trips a day!. We now have a train once a day.

A lot of those went by quite close to my parent's house on Lidingö. The road there is only one lane each way and somewhat accident prone due to at least 2 level railroad crossings (trams) and quite a bit of rush hour traffic. Not the place I would want to drive my critical supplies through.  Wink



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMohavewolfpup From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5547 times:

is fueling commonly done at all airports or just when needed? i've flown 737's from LAS>PHX>PHL before, and sometimes see a truck parked underneath a wing with a hose attached to it. is this fuel, or hydraulic fluid? sometimes I don't see it at all, but i'm one that isn't too observant when in a metal tube, kinda hard to walk around and see ground level action when you load  Wink

Would southwest for example go "pfft, we can fly this from LAS>MDW, land there, then decide to fly to say, PHX with no refuel" or do they take on fuel everytime so it doesn't crash or run out if they run into headwinds or anything?

sorry, don't know much about this!

edit: I know a short hop like LAS>SNA would possibly be pointless to refuel it at, next route depending. that would be like fueling my truck at the station up the street, driving 5 miles, then fueling again just because, at least in my mind :P


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5544 times:

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 13):
is fueling commonly done at all airports or just when needed?



Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 13):
Would southwest for example go "pfft, we can fly this from LAS>MDW, land there, then decide to fly to say, PHX with no refuel" or do they take on fuel everytime so it doesn't crash or run out if they run into headwinds or anything?

The rule of thumb is that fueling is done at every stop. Carrying fuel around burns fuel, so you want to carry as little as possible.

In some cases fuel prices are so different between airports fueling up at one location is convenient.

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 13):
edit: I know a short hop like LAS>SNA would possibly be pointless to refuel it at, next route depending. that would be like fueling my truck at the station up the street, driving 5 miles, then fueling again just because, at least in my mind

My understanding is that they would still refuel at each end. It just isn't worth it to lift all that extra fuel. Your truck analogy isn't really applicable since 1) aircraft use a much larger proportion of their fuel during take-off/climb than trucks accelerating to cruise speed and 2) weight increases have a much bigger impact on fuel burn in aircraft than in ground vehicles.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 33
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5539 times:

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 13):
is fueling commonly done at all airports or just when needed?

With airliners, fuelling is normally done at every stop. The computor that compiles the flight plan knows the cost of fuel at each airport, and the cost of carrying extra fuel. It then will suggest to the pilot if it is worth carrying extra fuel over the fuel necessary for the trip. This is called tankering. Tankering fuel costs money because the aircraft is heavier and so burns more fuel to carry it, so it is only done to save money when the fuel at the next stop is more expensive. Tankering has negative factors, the aircraft lands at a higher weight so that brakes are used more, and the cold fuel in the wing tanks can lead to ice formation, so deicing is required.
There is usually no cost with refuelling more often. You pay for fuel by the litre. There is rarely any extra cost for delivery, so if the price at each airport is similar then you would refuel at each stop.
Even if it is economically at good idea, tankering is not always possible because the aircraft must land under the MLW. With a MZFW departure, the ability to tanker is limited. i.e. on our B767 MZFW is 126t and MLW is 134t. So with a MZFW departure you must land with at most 8 tonnes of fuel, and that won't get you very far!


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5518 times:

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 15):
Even if it is economically at good idea, tankering is not always possible because the aircraft must land under the MLW. With a MZFW departure, the ability to tanker is limited. i.e. on our B767 MZFW is 126t and MLW is 134t. So with a MZFW departure you must land with at most 8 tonnes of fuel, and that won't get you very far!

Indeed. This is why tankering is seldom a viable option on long haulers. On the other hand, a 737 doing 45 minute hops has no problem doing it technically. Economically is another matter.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5454 times:

Out here.At the Airport are located Huge storage containers used to refill Fuel Bowsers & thru Underground pipings supplied to surface Hydrants.
The Storage containers recieve fuel thru underground pipelines from refineries a few Miles away.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBlrBird From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 579 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5412 times:

Quoting VikingA346 (Reply 7):
So... I understand it varies from airport to airport but what I understand is that there is usually multiple sources of fuel - which all the airlines use.. I wonder if each airline has a contract with the fuel company, or how exactly it works?

Most of airports have fuel farms on site, these have either above ground or under ground tanks. Hydrant systems are used to pump fuel from farm to fuel pit near aircraft bays if not trucks are used to haul it to aircraft.

Airports usually follow two types of fuel sourcing Open source and non open source. In open source airlines can buy fuel from any supplier they like and it is delivered to fuel farm where it is stored commonly irrespective which supplier it came from and then supplied to aircraft. In non open source airports hand out contracts to 1 or 2 suppliers to supply fuel to farm and every airline serving that airport needs to buy from that supplier.

Fuel contracts can be one or two components, where different contracts are tendered for supplying fuel to farm as one and into plane fueling i,e pumping fuel from the farm to aircraft as second one. Airports follow different practices how these are tendered.



from star dust....
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5408 times:

The airport I worked at, LRU, had two Jet A storage tanks, one above ground and one below ground.

ELP has (had?) a unique setup: there is actually a railroad spur that extends onto the airport property, and that is how they used to get Jet A (there are two oil refineries in ELP in close proximity to the airport). However, the last time I looked at the Google Earth satellite photo of ELP, the rail spur is starting to look disused, and I'm wondering if they no longer get their fuel by rail  Sad



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5309 times:

Quoting Mohavewolfpup (Reply 13):
is fueling commonly done at all airports or just when needed?

Depends- DL sends several 757/767's down here a day, and oftentimes they're tankering the fuel, as they can get away with carrying extra gas for a quicker turnaround, (plus the leg is only 45 minutes), also fuel in ATL is far cheaper- fuel in JAX is supplied by Signature, who will rape you at every chance they get.

I used to fuel airlines- it was fun, fairley easy work. Recieving several loads of fuel a day is a pain, especially when it all has to settle. Say, AA will have 2 loads brought in, and NW 3- all goes into one tank, and we pump it from there- so we're storing their fuel for them, something that airlines used to do themselves back in the day.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineVikingA346 From Sweden, joined Oct 2006, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5233 times:

Interesting.. Thanks for the replies...

Does anyone know how fuel is arranged when an airplane lands at an airport (say a diversion), with that particular airline not being in a contract with the fuel farm at that arpt? Do they just bill the company accordingly? Small detail, just thought I'd ask.



...you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you shall return
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5183 times:

Quoting VikingA346 (Reply 21):
Does anyone know how fuel is arranged when an airplane lands at an airport (say a diversion), with that particular airline not being in a contract with the fuel farm at that arpt

Out here on Credit or Cash is Electronically Routed to the Fuelling company by the Airline HO.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2914 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5161 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
A lot of those went by quite close to my parent's house on Lidingö.

What would they do there? Isn't Lidingö a posh residential island?

Quoting BlrBird (Reply 18):
Most of airports have fuel farms on site,


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User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5159 times:

Quoting BuyantUkhaa (Reply 23):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
A lot of those went by quite close to my parent's house on Lidingö.

What would they do there? Isn't Lidingö a posh residential island?

Yes it is. But there used to be a tanker port and fuel depot in Gåshaga at the southeast end of the island. Somewhat easier to get there than to negotiate Värtan for a large ship.

Also, Lidingö is quite large so there's space for riff raff and fuel depots. Big grin



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
25 TWAL1011727 : To answer your question/s : In the U.S. federal EPA law requires all underground tanks(jet/auto gas/etc.)to be in double walled. While auto gas tanks
26 CRJonBeez : here in SBN, we have 8,000 gallon tanker trucks delivering fuel daily. each airline has contracts with respective fuel suppliers they purchase jet a f
27 Luketenley : PIT has 4 tanks located north of the control tower. Not sure how these are filled though.
28 TristarSteve : This week the MH B777 actually carried round trip fuel froim ARN-EWR-ARN. They have tankered before but never had enough weight for round trip. Norma
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