Learn how SAIM helped to minimize business interruption during an off-spec fuel event at a major airport.

The Situation

The operator of the fuel storage facility for one of the nation’s busiest airports was notified by the upstream terminal that it received fuel that did not meet Jet Fuel Thermal Oxidation Test (JFTOT) standards. This is one of 16 required criteria to certify fuel to go in an aircraft.

SAIM-Laser Scanning and Surveying East Tank Farm (13)


  • Supply chain received fuel that did not meet standards for JFTOT into terminal storage.
  • The terminal receives Jet-A from a multiproduct pipeline and stores it in dedicated tankage until it can become certified. It is then pushed to the airport.
  • Two large tanks were impacted and taken out of service. If the tanks were not emptied by the time the next pipeline cycle was scheduled, the pipeline would have to be shutdown.
  • To avoid impact to flight operations and manage fuel storage reserves, stakeholders needed to quickly identify a plan to address the off-spec fuel.
  • The situation required 24/7 monitoring for several days.
  • All stakeholders needed to be kept informed throughout the event, including:
    • Local Airport Facility Operator: onsite staff responsible for addressing the JFTOT issue and maintaining routine operations.
    • Airline fuel representatives: key decision makers to determine if off-spec fuel would impact ability to support airline operations.
    • Fuel suppliers: responsible for maintaining fuel supply to support operations and addressing off-spec fuel.
    • Engineering: supporting infrastructure/operational decisions to receive treated fuel at the airport facility.

SAIM Solutions

  • A protocol was developed where the required additive was injected into the flow stream as the fuel was transferred to the airport.
  • In parallel, both onsite and remote airport stakeholders used SAIM’s cloud data management features to easily gather information and make informed decisions on how to respond to the receipt of treated fuel.
  • Airport storage tanks were selected for the deliveries and were to remain quarantined until additional testing could be performed to confirm the fuel met specification.
  • Mechanisms were added to ensure off-spec fuel was not co-mingled with on-spec fuel.
  • Projections of on-spec fuel availability were forecasted based upon the duration of the response to the off-spec fuel and future deliveries.

The Impact

Using the SAIM platform, the operator and the Engineer of Record could quickly respond and monitor the situation over several days to address the off-spec fuel and avoid costly interruptions to airport operations. Travel to the location was not necessary, saving crucial time and resources.

Everyone involved had immediate and real-time visualization of the current and historical daily uplift, and the quantity of fuel in storage that was available for use. Models were established of fuel availability based upon varying scenario inputs: actual and projected uplift, tank out of service duration, date/time of next scheduled delivery, and volume of scheduled deliveries.

Data supported informed business decision making and gave airline representatives confidence that it was not necessary to reduce airline flight operations at the airport, which is extremely impactful to nationwide air service and customers. It also helped avoid expensive fuel tinkering operations.