User avatar
readytotaxi
Topic Author
Posts: 5907
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:49 pm

With regard to large airport ops are there any figures as to how many airports in the USA that have their fuel delivered to site by underground piping and then piped to aircraft at the stand. Imagine these locations are better protected from strike actions by unions but is it a cost effective way of refueling v tankering? Underground piping must take a good few years to recover costs.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
stratclub
Posts: 701
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:53 pm

I would imagine the piping system is a lot cheaper and more efficient. You don't have to call for a fuel truck which does burn Diesel to drive between the fuel farm and the aircraft. Also you don't have to wait for a fuel truck to show up, you just fuel the aircraft from the hydrant. What would strikes have to do with one method or another?
 
zuckie13
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:23 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:46 pm

Plenty of capital construction cost to build in the piping to get the fuel there, but saves time every time you refuel an aircraft, since the fueler can go from one aircraft to another without a visit to a fuel farm. For major airports, probably saves on a few bodies, along with the cost to drive the fuel around.

Either way you've probably got a union worker who can go on strike, so no help there.
 
ChrisKen
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:40 pm

stratclub wrote:
Also you don't have to wait for a fuel truck to show up, you just fuel the aircraft from the hydrant.

You still have to wait for the dispensing 'truck' though. Hydrant systems aren't just a case of whack the hoses on and go, even on a smaller (lower) commercial aircraft. You need the dispenser between the system and the aircraft, correct pressures, pumping, water removal, quality control and the biggie, the height advantage (I'd love to see you try hauling two fuel hoses up a ladder to a heavy's refuelling point.)
 
superbizzy73
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:43 am

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:33 am

It’s not just a cost issue, but a safety issue as well. Most fueling companies have realized its so much easier to leave the hydrant carts at the gate by the hydrant outlet (at least for most narrow body ops). Now, instead of running around in a 100k pound, 10000 gallon fuel truck, you can just hop in a small truck, drive out to the gate, and fuel the aircraft. Much more efficient, quick, and safe. And, you’re not limited by what’s on the truck, but by how much the tank farm is storing. So, in the long run, a hydrant system is much more cost and safety effective than a big fuel truck running around...unless the hydrant system goes down. Then you’ve got major issues!
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 1488
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:00 am

That's when you try to start the fuel trucks.
 
stratclub
Posts: 701
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:50 am

ChrisKen wrote:
stratclub wrote:
Also you don't have to wait for a fuel truck to show up, you just fuel the aircraft from the hydrant.

You still have to wait for the dispensing 'truck' though. Hydrant systems aren't just a case of whack the hoses on and go, even on a smaller (lower) commercial aircraft. You need the dispenser between the system and the aircraft, correct pressures, pumping, water removal, quality control and the biggie, the height advantage (I'd love to see you try hauling two fuel hoses up a ladder to a heavy's refuelling point.)

Have you ever fueled an aircraft? Why would you drag hoses up a ladder when most likely the gate has a hydrant truck or stand? Although at remote flight testing locations we have had to fuel from a ladder and it was no big deal. It just takes 2 people to connect the fueling nozzle(s).
 
ChrisKen
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:05 am

stratclub wrote:
Why would you drag hoses up a ladder when most likely the gate has a hydrant truck or stand?

Which is what I just said.................
 
stratclub
Posts: 701
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:11 pm

ChrisKen wrote:
stratclub wrote:
Why would you drag hoses up a ladder when most likely the gate has a hydrant truck or stand?

Which is what I just said.................

No, you said you would have to drag hoses up a ladder with a hydrant system. That would rarely be the case for a wide body because a hydrant truck or appropriate ground equipment would be available. Also, on a 737, a 4 step ladder works very well for connecting the single fueling nozzle.
 
ChrisKen
Posts: 642
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:15 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:01 am

stratclub wrote:
ChrisKen wrote:
stratclub wrote:
Why would you drag hoses up a ladder when most likely the gate has a hydrant truck or stand?

Which is what I just said.................

No, you said you would have to drag hoses up a ladder with a hydrant system.

Afraid not pal. I said the dispensing truck has the advantage of not requiring hoses being dragged up a ladder (which immediately doubles the man power (££) required btw). I'd ask for a refund on those English lessons if I were you.
 
stratclub
Posts: 701
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:20 am

Brits and Yanks. 2 groups of people separated by a common language. Your syntax was misunderstood by me apparently. Still kinda puzzled but that's O.K. We should team up and give the Irish some English lessons. :biggrin:
 
strfyr51
Posts: 3225
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:03 am

readytotaxi wrote:
With regard to large airport ops are there any figures as to how many airports in the USA that have their fuel delivered to site by underground piping and then piped to aircraft at the stand. Imagine these locations are better protected from strike actions by unions but is it a cost effective way of refueling v tankering? Underground piping must take a good few years to recover costs.

for United? IAD, EWR, ORD,IAH.DEN, LAX, SFO. for sure. I can't say how many more stations as I haven't been to every station. But I'll bet hydrant trucks are used at MANY stations even though fueling is contracted out.
 
aaway
Posts: 1351
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 2:07 am

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:38 am

readytotaxi wrote:
With regard to large airport ops are there any figures as to how many airports in the USA that have their fuel delivered to site by underground piping and then piped to aircraft at the stand. Imagine these locations are better protected from strike actions by unions but is it a cost effective way of refueling v tankering? Underground piping must take a good few years to recover costs.


From what I know anecdotally, the top 20-25 U.S. airports (enplanements) primarily use hydrant systems for fuel delivery to terminal gates. The big(gest?) exception is PHL. IIRC, its 100% tankering at PHL. Even with hydrant systems in place, you'll actually find a mix of both hydrant and tankering activity at the top U.S. airports.

Using LAX as an example, the AA Eagle satellite, as well as the cargo spots (Century Cargo, Imperial Cargo, etc.) utilize tank trucks.

The consortium model is employed to manage, operate, and (somewhat) mitigate costs associated with storage facilities & hydrant systems at the largest airports. Again using LAX as an example, the LAXFuel Corporation was established by the airlines as a not-for-profit company for this purpose.

The LAX air carriers that choose to join LAXFuel are assessed an annual USD 50000 fee, and absorb the various fees associated with use of the hydrant system. Carriers are not required to join LAXFuel. Non-members will pay higher fuel costs and fees for using the system.

The LAX fueling activity is such whereby the total fees collected annually covers most of the O.G.& A. Absent seeing a financial statement, I'm guessing the cost recovery of the on-field pipelines is relatively fast via the various fees assessed by the airlines upon themselves (the consortium).

The costs (vs. tankering) can be a bit harder to quantify, considering the mix of both direct & implicit costs. However, there is a readily apparent efficiency in having a hydrant truck at the gate ready to go, vs. the headways necessary for tankers. In terms of direct costs, the acquisition, operation and maintenance costs associated with tankers vs. hydrant will be a significant factor.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
747Whale
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:36 pm

stratclub wrote:
Have you ever fueled an aircraft? Why would you drag hoses up a ladder when most likely the gate has a hydrant truck or stand? Although at remote flight testing locations we have had to fuel from a ladder and it was no big deal. It just takes 2 people to connect the fueling nozzle(s).


I've had to fuel a lot of aircraft, for a lot of years. Ground fueling access works fine when it's available and the aircraft is parked precisely in the correct spot. For everything else, a truck works a lot better.

We made a delivery in Malabo, where fuel was available through the ground. They parked us just far enough away that we couldn't use the hose and they didn't have enough, apparently, and tug availability was not to be had. We were required to start engines and taxi a very short distance, just to get fuel. It was ridiculous.

For aircraft at a gate, it makes sense to invest the infrastructure to use fuel carts at the gate from a ground delivery (though that does open up contamination and testing issues which are compounded by orders of magnitude if contamination is found). For transient using hard stands, cargo, etc, truck are often the way to go.
 
amishfarmer
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 2:37 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:59 pm

I guess to answer the original post. The most cost effective way would be steal it. As free gas is always good the most cost effective, as long as you don't get caught...
in all seriousness at major hubs a hydrant setup would probably be best. It saves time and money to have the access to fuel ready for where the plane needs it. Which is usually where it is parked. Plus Hydrant systems with pit trucks offer the ability of continuous pumping without having to coordinate several trucks. I had to coordinate 7 USAF trucks in Japan one time to max out the C-17 I was flying on. Fortunately the fuels guys were on it an I always had at least one truck waiting while the last 2 were finishing up. I forget the amounts we needed uploaded now, but it was in the 200k range, all by fuel truck. Fun times.
 
slcguy
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:09 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:48 am

Here in SLC (current terminal) it is a combination of both. Most concourse gates except lower portion of F (formerly B) and E concourses have an underground hydrant system operated by Menzies (formerly ASIG, LAT). Menzies also has a fleet of fuel trucks for E concourse and hard stand fueling. Also, not all airlines contract with Menzies, some use Tac Air or Atlantic. In those cases, the aircraft will use fuel trucks from those companies even if parked at a hydrant gate. The north cargo ramp, FedEx and UPS use trucks regardless of fuel company.
 
slcguy
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:09 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:48 am

Sorry, almost a double post.
 
User avatar
airportugal310
Posts: 3386
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:49 pm

Re: Best cost effective way to refuel aircraft.

Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:15 pm

aaway wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The LAX air carriers that choose to join LAXFuel are assessed an annual USD 50000 fee, and absorb the various fees associated with use of the hydrant system. Carriers are not required to join LAXFuel. Non-members will pay higher fuel costs and fees for using the system.


One correction: The $50k is a one-time capital contribution, not annual. The rest is accurate

Source: I am a director of LAXFUEL
I sell airplanes and airplane accessories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dave05, Francoflier, HAWKXP, Starlionblue and 18 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos