Guide To A New Guide
Creating a user-friendly fuel facility operations & maintenance manual
By Sarah Smith, President, Madison Environmental Services
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Manuals for fuel storage systems are in demand by fuel facility managers, and the majority want a manual that accurately describes the system within a reasonable budget — an obstacle to date. Here are some guidelines to what a reasonable O&M might look like.
Today, a facility with one storage tank could expect to spend a couple
of thousand dollars completing an O&M manual. An average aviation storage
facility could expect to spend $5,000-$10,000; larger systems will require
In the past, creating a fuel facility O&M manual involved writing lengthy descriptions of the system, inserting product cut-sheets, and preparing elaborate facility engineering "as-built" drawings. Today we have technologies that allow for the development of a practical and user-friendly fuel facility O&M manual at a reasonable cost.
An O&M manual should clearly establish procedures for all facility functions as they pertain to fueling methods, quality control, storage, receipt, and transfer of fuel. The manual must serve as a practical reference and training manual for employees. ATA 103 recommends that aviation fuel storage operators have O&M manuals in order to establish uniform policies and procedures.
The O&M manual should accomplish the following:
• Ensure safe and dependable flow of quality jet fuel to aircraft through fuel trucks or hydrant systems.
• Prevent fuel spills through preparedness and employee training.
• Provide employees with a safe working environment.
• Establish employee awareness of system operation and preventative maintenance.
• Ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations and industry standards.
The O&M manual should include an overview section that describes airport operations, the layout of the airport, a description of the aviation fuel storage facility and equipment data, safety and fuel quality control policies, and definitions of fuel facility terms. Some of this information may already exist in other documents (Spill Prevention Countermeasure and Control Plan, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, ATA 103, etc.) and could be transferred into the manual with little effort.
The core section of the manual should describe the operation and maintenance of the system. This core section is the most critical section and requires the most customization. Since no two fuel systems are alike, this section should describe exactly how the equipment works to receive and dispense fuel; the mechanics of the system; maintenance of the system; and everything in between including fuel ordering, inventory control, valving for transfer of product, metering, fuel sumping, etc. Maintenance requirements are based on regulations, industry standards, and the manufacturer’s recommendations for equipment inspection, testing, repairs, and adjustments.
An inspection of the fuel facility is mandatory in preparing a facility-specific manual. The inspection should provide the data needed for the core section and confirm or establish new procedures for the O&M of the system. Inspection should be performed by a qualified representative familiar with the mechanical operation of the facility and knowledge of the fuel receiving/dispensing operations.
Facility diagrams and maps of the operation are mandatory for an O&M manual in order to illustrate the process for receiving and dispensing. For example, the valves are numbered in the inspection phase to identify valving order for receiving or dispensing fuel and the valve numbers are linked to the corresponding number on a diagram. In the manual’s text, the valving sequence could be "hyper-linked" to a digital photograph of the valve to assure the reader understands the valving sequence.
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