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Guest Tim757

How does fuel get to big airports?

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Came up with this while watching planes around London Heathrow and Stansted the last couple of days.How does jet fuel get from refineries to major airports worldwide? I guess they need a lot of it? Haven't seen any big tankers on the road or do they have special underground pipes going to whatever refineries / storage centres are nearby?Any answers welcomeThanksPierre

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Depends on the airport, I think that most large airports have storage tanks with pipe lines leading directly to them. I am sure that some get the fuel trucked in but you would not necessarily see the fuel trucks since most of the time the stargae tanks are well away from the main parts of the airport and the fuel trucks would enter by means of a side or back entrance. Now what I am saying here is mostly conjecture on my part as I only have limited knowledge from a couple of airports so I could be wrong, but I don't see why most airports would not follow the same model as I have seen.Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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Direct pipeline or by truck. The old Stapleton Airport in Denver had a line directly from the refinery to the various storage facilities. Your smaller airports would have to have it trucked in.Darrell

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All major airports get their Jet fuel by pipeline, either from a dedicated line to a refinery, or - far more commonly - a link to the fungible pipeline system. In the US, for example, most east coast airports are connected to the Colonial pipeline system, and most west coast ones to Kinder-Morgan. In the UK, the London area airports are connected to Midline.Some airports with a large GA presence can also get AvGas by pipeline, but it's more commonly delivered by truck.Richard

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Pipeline for any large airports that carry jet fuel. KPDX, near where I live, keeps 3 million gallons on hand at any time, the rest comes from a pipeline. It gives them about a three - six day supply, since airline traffic at KPDX eats up about 500,000 gallons daily. Airports such as KSEA, KLAX, KSFO etc., keep much more on hand because of the larger demand. Recently, a pipeline had a leak and small fire up here in the pacific northwest, shutting off the pipeline to KSEA. Due to their reserves, they could perform essential refueling at KSEA until the pipeline was up.Hope these posts answered your question,Andrew Tunall

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Hi and thanks for all the infoInteresting to learn about the systems. It's amazing the stuff which goes on which I never notice but which is nevertheless big big stuffThanks againP

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Amsterdam Schiphol has a backup system of delivery by tanker ships for when the pipeline to the refineries in Rotterdam would be severed from some reason.As a final emergency backup trucks could be used but the required fleet to maintain even partial operations after a few days would likely exceed the total capacity of tanker trucks in the country.

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Los Angeles LAX, San Francisco SFO, Oakland OAK, and San Jose SJC here in CA also have their own docks for tankers or barges - but in all four cases the docks permits have been allowed to lapse due to environmental concerns. Oakland, as an aside, has a very small on-hand tank farm for the size of the airport, and in the summer whenever we get a power shortage (This is California, so that means 'frequently') Kinder-Morgan isn't allowed to run their pipeline pumps, so OAK can get very short of fuel in a hurry - the have to call around all the short-haul airlines like Southwest and tell them to fly in with enough fuel to fly back out again - which of course limits the airlines cargo capacity.We used to send barges to the dock at San Jose until a couple of years ago to provide AvGas to Moffat Federal Airfield next door until the Navy pulled out. Now they get Jet by pipeline and AvGas by truck.Richard

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I am waiting to get the memo from management that when on lay-overs we are to bring short lenghts of rubber hose and 2 five gallon gas cans and go to Passenger's "Long Term Parking....."Tim757

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