A Modernized Fuel Facility Creates Resilience for Travel at San Francisco International Airport

Sept. 1, 2022

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) leaders joined SFO FUEL LLC airline partners and Burns & McDonnell project team members for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the airport’s modernized jet fuel storage facility designed and built by Burns & McDonnell on behalf of the airlines.

The project includes two new 90,000-barrel above-ground jet fuel tanks, a new pump pad, and facility controls upgrades at the existing fuel storage facility. The new pump pad conveys jet fuel to the aircraft hydrant system at SFO. The facility controls systems create resilience through enhanced safety and increased stability of the overall facility, and the addition of the new pump pad and storage tanks provide a much-needed increase in storage and fuel delivery capacity. The modernized fuel facility continues to receive sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a low-carbon and sustainably produced alternative to jet fuel.

“With the two new above-ground tanks and new pumping system, we have increased fuel storage capacity and we will significantly improve energy efficiency and operations here at SFO,” says Diane Urdiales, senior manager for global sourcing at United Airlines and chair of SFO FUEL, the airport’s fuel consortium.

“SFO is leading the revolution to decarbonization air travel,” says Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “This effort requires deep investment in shared infrastructure, specifically prioritizing robust fuel delivery and storage. The newly-upgraded facility at SFO offers our airport carriers the efficiency and resiliency we need to realize our vision for sustainable air transportation.”

Before the project began, Burns & McDonnell worked with the airlines and SFO FUEL to conduct a detailed analysis of the existing fuel station. The study included a review of on-site and off-site storage options, plus evaluation of pipelines and local refineries. Construction began in late 2017.

“Burns & McDonnell is proud to deliver this state-of-the-art fuel facility for the airport, SFO FUEL and its airline partners,” says Chris Snider, Burns & McDonnell project manager for the SFO fuel facility. “We were honored to be trusted to provide insight into SFO’s future needs and look forward to seeing the growth and success the airport achieves with these updated facilities and infrastructure.”

Burns & McDonnell ranks No. 8 among the Top 500 Design Firms in the U.S. and No. 6 among the Top 100 Design-Build Firms, according to Engineering News-Record.