Consolidating Fuel delivery at Logan
New farm and hydrant system replace five independent systems
By John F. Infanger, Editorial Director
BOSTON — In November, 1999, Boston Logan International Airport brought online a new consolidated loop fueling system that took 27 months to construct and came in under the original budget of $63 million. The project was financed through bonds and is being paid for by a 29-airline consortium, and brings with it a host of environmental advantages.
The process for the new fuel system began back in 1989 for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), owner/operator of Logan, according to airside program manager Laurie Cullen. "We had six separate fuel farms serving five different terminals," she explains. "All were owned and operated by different parties — basically, each carrier had its own. Then there was one system that served all of Terminal E, run by Signature Flight Support."
The initiative began for a number of reasons, spurred by changing environmental regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and by future airport construction. In addition, highway and airport parking construction projects were affecting storage capacity.
Explains Cullen, "In the early ’90s, we probably lost over 500,000 gallons of storage and were set to lose that or more in the next several years. Completion of this project gave us about five to seven days of on-airport storage."
Initially, Massport asked the air carriers to come up with a proposal for the new system. However, the process was moving slowly, so the agency took the lead, put out a bid, and hired URS Greiner (now URS Greiner Woodward Clyde) of Tampa to design the consolidated loop hydrant system.
Massport then negotiated a 40-year lease with a new corporation, BOSFUEL Corporation, which included the air carriers serving Logan and was formed specifically for the project. BOSFUEL was incorporated in Deleware as a non-profit corporation. Requiring the carriers to incorporate, says Cullen, gave Massport a legal entity that the agency could have legal recourse against, if necessary.
"BOSFUEL Corporation consists of the 29 carriers who are bound by an interline agreement, which basically makes them one entity" explains Cullen. "BOSFUEL went to the market and borrowed money to build it. It was a $111 million bond issue." She says the bond issue was for 50 years.
The initial phase of the project, opened last November, was projected to cost $63 million. Rodney Hoke, P.E., fuel system project manager for URS Greiner, estimates the final tab will come in at $58.7 million. The remainder of the $111 million was related to Massport costs for managing the project as well as other associated costs, he says.
Says Cullen, "What we have is almost an entirely new fuel system. There are three current systems that we incorporated. According to the lease agreement, those have to be replaced within 15 years of the lease commencement date, which would make it around 2012."
"What's really nice about the new system from the carriers' perspective," says Cullen, "is they can move around. So, regardless of where they park their plane, they just send their fuelers over and they can fuel off the system. There's no more of this: United can we borrow some fuel?
"It gives us great flexibility in construction, like when we have to close down an alleyway.
"It's a consolidated loop. There are two main lines that run out around the entire terminal area, so every single gate can be fed two ways. So, if someone hits an emergency fuel shutoff (EFSO) and shuts down one zone of the system, instead of the fuel flowing that way, it can flow back the other way. So, there's never more than four or five gates that have to be shut down at one time in the event of an emergency. Most of the previous systems had dead-ended — they had a main line, it went into the terminal, and that was it. Now it's completely looped for every terminal."
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