The Wall Street Heliport New Fuel Farm

The Wall Street or Downtown Manhattan Heliport (JRB) is located on Pier 6 on the East River which separates Manhattan and Queens in New York City. First opened in 1960 and operated by the Port Authority of NY & NJ, it was given back to the New York City...


The Wall Street or Downtown Manhattan Heliport (JRB) is located on Pier 6 on the East River which separates Manhattan and Queens in New York City. First opened in 1960 and operated by the Port Authority of NY & NJ, it was given back to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in 2007. The Aviation Department called for bids from a fixed base operator (FBO) to operate the heliport and a lease was subsequently executed with Saker Aviation. The lease stipulated that the FBO operate the heliport provisioned with a helicopter fueling system.

The configuration of the heliport is indicated in the aerial photo below. The Flight Operations Office is located on Pier 6, approximately 100 feet from the Manhattan shore of the East River.

The two helicopter fueling positions are situated on an attached pier on the north side of Pier 6, approximately 500 feet from shore. Fuel deliveries must be made from South Street, adjacent to FDR Drive. Therefore, the fuel storage tank had to be located on the pier immediately adjacent to South Street, approximately 650 feet from two remote dispensing cabinets further out on the pier at two helicopter fueling positions (see photo).

Multi-jurisdictional permits

Eryou Engineering was retained to design, permit, and manage the installation of the new helicopter fueling system at JRB. The permits for the project were multi-jurisdictional, involving the following agencies:

  • The NYC Fire Department (FDNY) which performs technical reviews of the proposed fueling system construction documents.
  • The Waterfront Business Unit of the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB), which issues the building permit for waterfront properties in NYC.
  • The NYC Police Department (NYPD) Anti-Terrorism Unit, which approves the tank protection system design.
  • The NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), which controls the movement of heavy loads on roads and also crane permits within the city.
  • The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, which oversees the design of fuel storage tanks that can discharge to surface waters (i.e., the East River).
  • The Federal Secret Service, since Marine One uses JRB during Presidential visits to Manhattan.
  • The Federal Environmental Protection Agency, which administers Prevention Countermeasure and Control Plan (SPCC) programs.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration, which controls potential landing/takeoff obstacles within heliports.
  • The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Specification 103 “Standard for Jet Fuel Quality Control at Airports”, which governs jet fuel quality for fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

The city’s fire regulations permit the use of fire-rated UL 2085 listed above ground tanks (ASTs) up to 4,000 gallons capacity for fleet refueling of combustible fuels (diesel or jet fuel) without a variance. Considering the load limitations on Pier 6 and the projected daily fuel consumption at the heliport, a 4,000-gallon fuel tank was adequate for JRB fueling operations.

Design challenges

Design drawings were prepared for a 4,000-gallon above ground jet fuel storage tank with a truck unloading pump at the foot of Pier 6, adjacent to South Street, supplying two remote dispensing cabinets which are located approximately 50 feet from the fuel supply tank. The multiple design challenges included the following ...

The FDNY’s tank standards required that the jet fuel storage tank have a UL-specified fire rating, while the NYPD requirements included ballistic and explosion resistance requirements. Due to the marine environment and the FDNY/NYPD requirements, a concrete encased Convault tank meeting UL2085 requirements was selected.

The NYPD Anti-Terrorism Unit requires that the AST be protected from vehicular traffic on FDR Drive by a K-rated bollard system. A bollard system anchored into the 30-inch thick reinforced concrete deck of Pier 6 was designed and installed.

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