Aviation fuel products and services supplier Air bp has passed a milestone of 250,000 fuelings using its Airfield Automation digital technology. The landmark fueling took place in Adelaide, Australia, when the business supplied Jet A-1 (with fuel system icing inhibitor) to The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
Since launching in May 2018, Airfield Automation has been rolled out to 145 Air bp network locations in 18 countries on four continents. Since the start of the year, new sites have also gone live in Norway, Sweden and the UK. Before many aircraft were grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Air bp was completing around 1,000 fuelings per day globally with some 20% using Airfield Automation.
Designed to enhance safety, reliability and compliance in airport fueling operations, Air bp’s technology has been well received by operators who have reported increased speed and efficiency in fueling. Customers have noted improved turnaround times and enhanced accuracy in fueling.
Damien Heath, head of flying operations for RFDS Central Operations said: “Safety and reliability are critical to RFDS providing care in South Australia and the Northern Territory, so innovative systems such as Airfield Automation that prevent the possibility of misfuelling is a welcome addition. The printed dockets are an added benefit which again helps remove errors in documentation.”
“We are pleased to have reached this milestone and I am delighted to hear the positive feedback from our customers globally. We look forward to extending the roll out across hub airports in the coming months,” said Kerry Rutherford, Air bp technical director. “With this new technology, we are playing our part in helping to ensure that the fuelling process is fast, efficient and safe. Misfuelling is one of the biggest risks we face in our industry; our global solution is good news for our customers and good news for our industry.”
Air bp’s cloud-based platform is the first commercially deployed system in the world to provide an engineering barrier to actively help prevent misfuelling. It consolidates the data related to airport fuelling operations and works via an app on a handheld device in the fuelling vehicle.
The ‘safe2go’ app captures fuel volume readings and provides fuel grade checks to add an additional misfuelling barrier. It then electronically captures customer details which are confirmed with an electronic signature from the pilot or airline representative. By using this automated, end-to-end, paperless system, accuracy is enhanced and any potential miskeying errors minimised.
Aside from the enhanced safety barriers, aircraft operators are also benefitting from faster, more comprehensive and more accurate fuelling and delivery data.
It is anticipated that the majority of Air bp’s planned 350 Airfield Automation locations will be fully operational by the end of 2020. In future, Air bp will continue to develop the system by providing extra digital services for customers such as improved back-office processes by accelerating reconciliation of invoices with delivery receipts.