Air BP has announced the launch of its new Airfield Automation technology in a bid to enhance safety, reliability and compliance in airport fuelling operations.
The company, which supplies aviation fuel products and services, has described the digital platform as an ‘integrated, real-time, global solution’ that will help airports and operators improve safety barriers and lower risks during the fuelling process.
Air BP said it is the first commercially deployed system to provide an engineering barrier capable of preventing misfuelling. The company is currently pursuing patent protection for the automated, end-to-end, paperless system.
Air BP technical director Kerry Rutherford said: “Misfuelling is one of the biggest risks we face in our industry, the new Air BP Airfield Automation technology provides an engineering barrier to stop it happening. As aircraft engine technology advances and new unleaded fuel grades are introduced, we anticipate that it will become even more relevant in future.”
The Airfield Automation technology is a cloud-based platform that combines data related to airport fuelling operations and works through an app, called ‘safe2go’, on a handled device in the fuelling vehicles.
The app captures fuel volume readings and provides fuel grade checks. It also registers customer details, which are confirmed with an electronic signature from the pilot or airline, minimising any potential miskeying errors.
The launch comes after a two-year trial period carried out at nine airports in the UK, Cyprus and Portugal. Air BP plans to introduce the technology to its network this summer, with the platform expected to be operational at around 350 locations by 2020.
According to the supplier, the Airfield Automation technology has helped complete over 5,000 aircraft fuellings at one airport over the last six months, delivering more than 46 million litres of fuel into customer aircraft.
Air BP chief commercial officer Matt Elliott said: “This new platform reinforces our ambition to be a leader in digital fuelling technology. Air travel continues to grow, putting more pressure on airports and operators to provide a seamless service to customers.
“With this new technology, we are playing our part in ensuring that the fuelling process is fast, efficient and safe. Future enhancements to our system will support wider digitalisation at airports.”
Several other organisations are developing solutions to prevent misfuelling, with the National Air Transport Association (NATA) launching its General Aviation Misfueling Prevention initiative in 2016 to raise awareness on the matter.
NATA also launched a Supplemental Safety Training Program earlier this year, which targets the risks of jet fuel contamination with diesel exhaust fluid.