Investment improves efficiency of fuelling facilities for airport’s ground support and transport operations.

As a transport operator, Bristol International Airport consumes around 73 thousand litres of fuel oil a month. Bulk supplies are managed by the airport’s Motor Transport section, which also looks after the associated diesel and gas-oil dispensing facilities.

“Initially we relied on single pumps located on two separate storage tanks. These fuelling points were coming under increasing pressure. Furthermore, the equipment was ageing and becoming increasingly risky in terms of reliability,” explains Steve Webb, head of Motor Transport.

The decision was taken to revamp the facilities and double up capacity with two new pumps on both storage tanks, together with an improved stock control management system.”

[quote]Reliability is paramount, stresses Steve Webb. “The airport is operational 24 hours a day everyday and bank holidays are our peak times. We cannot afford to disrupt the operation of the airport because of a lack of fuel for the support vehicles.”[/quote]

Specifications for the new system included electronic contents measurement and an interface to the Airport’s internal communications network, to allow remote supervision and downloading of fuelling transactions to the office computer. A cardinal requirement was for approved pumps – qualified for resale – which would enable the airport to supply fuel to vehicles operated by third party support organisations.

The procurement team ‘went to market’ to see what systems were available and could be recommended. In other words proven equipment, currently in service and backed up by good after-sales service support.

“Very few suppliers were able to meet our specific requirements, says Steve Webb. Our short list was very quickly reduced with the Merridale solution put forward by MIS Fuel Monitoring of Wolverhampton coming way out in front.”

“A deciding factor was the ‘can do’ approach of the Merridale team. Nothing was too much trouble and we were impressed by the level of professional service offered right from the start of our discussions, through to the installation and final commissioning on site.”

Following the success on the first ‘airside’ installation, MIS was commissioned to mirror image the ‘landside’ Bio-diesel fuelling facilities. Both installations are more or less identical and their operational status can be checked remotely by Steve Webb and his staff using their office computers.

[box type=”info”]Bristol International Airport depends on a variety of vehicles for its day-to-day operations. They include six wide body buses used for embarking and disembarking passengers. Other airport support vehicles include passenger lifts, stairs and luggage loading belts. Operational equipment include fuelling tankers, food provisioning and hygiene service vehicles. The airport also operates a tractor fleet for grass cutting and a snow clearance vehicle. Last but not least are sophisticated emergency rescue vehicles and 4×4s used for runway inspection and safety checks.[/box]