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...


Since Marine One lands at JRB, the Secret Service (SS) required that the tank openings be secured with SS seals before the tank itself was put into service. To accommodate these requirements, the tank top openings were modified.

The remote fuel dispensing systems at the helicopter fueling pier had to be overhung from the side of the pier because of FAA regulations which would not allow them to protrude above the eight-inch high curbing on the edge of the heliport.

The cabinets contained final fuel filters, a fuel meter, and an electric wind hose reel for 60 feet of one-inch hose plus a static cable reel. The remote dispenser cabinets were fabricated from marine grade aluminum and connected to the pier by a welded structural framework. The latter was metalized with a zinc coating to minimize corrosion.

The 650-foot long supply pipe from the above ground storage tank to the two dispensing cabinets at the helicopter fueling areas posed a major design challenge. The pipe had to penetrate the deck of Pier 6 adjacent to the AST, travel to the north side of Pier 6, then travel on the north side of Pier 6 and the adjacent pier to reach the remote dispensing cabinets.

Under FDNY requirements, the pipe had to be metallic and fire-resistant. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements necessitated a double-walled fuel pipe. ATA Specification 103 requires that the interior of the pipe be non-corrosive to ensure proper fuel quality. Additionally, it had to be resistant to corrosion by saltwater and to possible damage from floating objects in the East River.

After careful consideration, it was determined that the only product meeting these numerous requirements was a double-walled, flexible, convoluted stainless steel tubing manufactured by Brugg. A 1.5-inch ID Brugg double-wall flexible pipe was installed at the heliport in a single 650-foot continuous length, along with a factory supplied leak detection system.

FDNY stipulated that a horizontal foam standpipe be installed from the sidewalk on FDR Drive to the end of Pier 6. This standpipe was installed to allow fire trucks to supply firefighting foam to five fire hose connections along the standpipe to fight helicopter fueling fires on Pier 6.

The construction phase

Four major tasks during the construction phase posed serious challenges:

  • The 650 feet of Brugg double-wall flexible piping arrived in a large roll. The pipe installation under the pier and along the north edge of the pier was done using a modified boom lift (see photos above).
  • Installation of 650 feet of foam standpipe piping along the north edge of the pier.
  • Coordination of the FDNY inspections and tests with the work schedule.
  • Installation of the concrete-encased AST, which weighed 20 tons. The NYCDOT was approached for a crane permit to lift the AST from a low-boy trailer on FDR Drive onto Pier 6, but DOT cited concerns regarding the structural capacity of the bulkhead wall at the base of Pier 6. The problem was resolved with the use of a crane-equipped floating barge which picked up the tank at Port Newark in New Jersey, floated it to Pier 6, and then lifted it onto the pier (photos below).

Fuel spill prevention

Due to the location of the fueling system, on Pier 6 over the East River, fuel spill avoidance was designed into every aspect of the operation.

The above ground storage tank is equipped with an Omntec tank management system which indicates the amount of fuel in the tank. Loads are not ordered until there is enough ullage in the tank to accept the incoming load.

The tank is equipped with an overfill alarm system and a float-actuated hydraulic overfill valve to preclude spills from tank overfilling.

A spill pan is incorporated into the pump/filter unit and both remote dispensing cabinets. Fuel detection sensors located in these spill pans are tied into the Omntec tank management system, which was programmed to sound an alarm if a spill is detected.

The 650-foot long supply pipe from the AST to the remote dispensing cabinets is a Brugg double-wall stainless steel pipe, equipped with a continuous leak detection monitoring system.

Fuel spill control

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