• Login

Fueling Safety From Refinery to Wingtip: What Really Goes Into Clean, Dry Fuel

Airport Business / November 2017 / Randy Harrison  - Nearly every FBO advertises it, but it is something the aviation community often takes for granted until there is an issue: clean, dry fuel. When fueling an aircraft, we expect the fuel to be nothing less than on specification — after all, for it to be anything but could be harmful to the aircraft, and the pilots and passengers inside. But what does it take to fuel safely with clean, dry product? And how do operations ensure it stays that way? At the end of the day, or the beginning of a trip, selecting an operation that provides quality fuel is more important than saving a few cents a gallon — what’s at stake is far more valuable.

Safe fueling does not just begin when the fuel enters the aircraft — it’s a meticulous process from the moment fuel leaves the refinery, to the moment it is delivered into the plane. But what does that process look like and how is fuel quality ensured along the way?

To start, fuel suppliers like Avfuel have relationships with multiple refiners. In Avfuel’s instance, its supply department arranges for fuel to be delivered from one of more than 90 refineries to one of hundreds of fuel supply terminals via pipeline, truck, barge or rail car. From there, Avfuel’s logistics team — available 24/7/365 out of its headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich. — arranges for FBOs and airports who order fuel to receive it from a supply terminal via one of Avfuel’s trained over-the-road transport vehicles or common carriers.

Throughout the delivery process — from refiner, to supply terminal to FBO or airport — the fuel has already undergone rigorous testing to ensure it meets industry specifications for quality. When the FBO or airport receives the fuel, it is tested again before being received into storage to avoid any type of contamination. Despite the fuel already being tested multiple times up to this point, the tests are just beginning.

Once in storage, FBO or airport staff members take over. Fuel is tested regularly to ensure contaminants have not compromised its integrity and that the fuel remains clean and dry for use in an aircraft. This is where proper training for FBO and airport staff members is crucial for fueling safety.


Keep me logged in should only be selected for a private computer. This will allow for a longer period of inactivity before signing you out.