LAXFUEL Operates on Precision

Upon entrance to the LAXFUEL facility through a crash-rated gate, the first impression is — simply put — a little intimidating. Several large storage tanks accent the skyline and line the grounds, interconnected through an intricate system of...


As with all storage facilities, the fuel supply at LAXFUEL is commingled, as the jet fuel needs to meet only one industry-wide quality standard.

 

Fuel Quality

Beyond scheduling and allocation of storage capacity, another primary responsibility of the operator is to ensure fuel quality. ASIG’s responsibility for the quality of the fuel begins from receipt at its facility to the isolation pits located at each terminal.

 

Safety and Emergency Response

The facility disperses an average of more than four million gallons of fuel a day — an operation that demands a constant focus on safety. A network of surveillance cameras oversee activity at the facility, while an electronic monitoring system (collectively known as the Surveillance Control and Data Acquisition system) runs constant internal checks of storage tanks and pumps, noting such factors as fluid levels, temperature, pressure, and flow rate. If unacceptable limits are detected, automatic shutoffs are engaged as a safety precaution. Another safety feature is emergency fuel shut-off buttons located at the terminal. If an operator engages a fuel shut-off button, it will close fuel valves within seconds.

Audits

As an ISO 9000-2008 certified facility, the organization adheres to strict audit processes for internal and external audits. The internal audits are conducted quarterly. “External audits are also conducted in which airlines will come in and review all of the facility’s quality control, maintenance, inspection and financial records,” says Bruce Grein, ASIG’s quality control supervisor.

Training

The company employs about 40 individuals in administrative and operations positions at LAXFUEL. On the operations side, it runs 24 hours a day with three shifts that include a shift supervisor, a central control operator, and two lab technicians. The facility has established a detailed recurrent training program for all of its employees to ensure that the highest standards are being adhered to on a daily basis.

Future Development

In terms of future expansion, there is a major airport development program going on that will require LAXFUEL to incorporate additional pipelines and the new international hydrant system within its facility distribution system. LAXFUEL is also reviewing the potential for incorporating all of the hydrant systems around the various concourses at LAX into LAXFUEL’s operating system. If this can be accomplished as planned, LAXFUEL would ultimately be operating and maintaining the entire fuel system at LAX. At the present time, these hydrant systems are primarily being maintained by the airlines operating at these concourses in conjunction with their independent contractors.

Lastly, LAXFUEL is working with one of its off-airport terminal operators to expand its off-airport throughput capacity, which will enable them to handle additional jet fuel imports. According to McMahon, this project is in line with LAXFUEL’s goal to ensure open access for all of LAXFUEL’s airlines and suppliers.

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