MSY Jet A Fueling System

A new terminal on a greenfield site provided the opportunity to build a safe, efficient hydrant fuel system designed for the airport's long-term needs with state-of-the-art technology.

The New Orleans Fuel Facility LLC retained Argus Consulting to provide planning, design, construction administration and resident engineering services for a new Jet A hydrant fuel system. This program was comprised of five projects including a pre-design feasibility study, a ramp hydrant system to serve the new North Terminal, a new tank farm and fuel transmission system, a hydrant cart test and calibration stand, and a further expansion of the new tank farm.

Phase 1 - Pre-Design Planning

Argus’ services to the New Orleans Fuel Facility LLC for MSY began with a condition assessment of the existing fueling system and a feasibility study of the alternates for fuel delivery to the proposed new North Terminal.

While functional, the existing facility, dating from the early 1970s, had limited storage capacity, was operationally inflexible and was beyond its service life. Argus undertook a detailed evaluation of each system and element of the inbound pipeline, tank farm, transmission pipeline and load rack and provided detailed assessments of suitability for continued use.

In addition to identifying alternatives for the delivery fuel to the new terminal and evaluating each on a technical and construction cost basis, Argus performed two modeling and simulation studies. Using proprietary modeling software based on aircraft type, flight origination and destination and flight schedule, Argus analyzed the airport’s operation to determine the instantaneous and daily fuel usage. These usages were in turn used to “right size” the number of vehicles and proposed systems and equipment. Since there is no on airport circulation road connecting the existing tank farm on the southside of the airport and the new terminal on the northside of the airport, Argus performed time and motion studies of the tanker and hydrant refueler movements for each of the alternates to determine the lowest overall life cycle cost to deliver fuel to the terminal.

Phase 2 - North Terminal

The airport’s new North Terminal ramp hydrant system serves 35 gates on Concourses A, B and C and provisions for the future development of Concourse D. The terminal’s Emergency Fuel Shut Off (EFSO) system is zoned into five areas to minimize the impact of EFSO events on the operation of the terminal. Given the soil condition at the terminal site, the design of the ramp hydrant system provided consideration for potential future settlement of the ramp area. A remote, aboveground Isolation Valve Station was provided for EFSO functions to address the high groundwater table on the project site. This project was particularly challenging because the design of the ramp system did not begin until the final design of the terminal was completed and construction of the terminal was about to begin. Working under tight time constraints Argus coordinated, completed the design, and bid and awarded the project in time to allow for the ramp system to be constructed in advance of the ramp utilities and pavement.

Phase 3 - Tank Farm and Transmission System

The Tank Farm and Transmission System project constructed a new and larger tank farm next to the existing obsolete tank farm and connected this new tank farm to the ramp hydrant system at the new North Terminal. Previously, fuel was delivered by tanker, but this became impracticable because of the North Terminal’s location.

The tank farm design provided a new fuel receipt system, new, larger fuel storage tanks, and a transmission pump/filter equipment station. Operational and life safety upgrades were also made to the existing load racks. The design includes an 800 GPM inbound pipeline receipt filtration train, two 10,000 BBL aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), five 750 GPM transmission pump/filter trains, two over-the-road tank-truck offload stations and tightness testing.

Operational and life safety upgrades to the existing four position remote refueler load rack include a new fire foam suppression system and refueler load controls.

The project included the design and the construction administration of a 3,000 GPM transmission system to connect the new tank farm on the southside of the airport to the North Terminal on the northside of the airport, and a 2,600 s.f. Operations and Maintenance Building (OMB). Comprised of two 12” transmission lines this system also includes a fiber communication duct-bank to transmit EFSO signals and other data between the tank farm and the terminal. The transmission system was constructed by a combination of cut and cover trenching and horizontal drilling beneath Runway 11-29 and Taxiways Echo and Gulf.

Phase 4 - Hydrant Cart Test and Calibration Stand

With the existing terminal near the existing airside load rack, the airport’s need for testing and calibrating refuelers was minimal and performed by an off-airport contractor. The need for on-airport testing and calibration of the hydrant carts increased due to the shift from tanker to hydrant system delivery and the use of stationary hydrant carts. To meet this need, Argus designed a hydrant cart test and calibration stand co-located with the existing load rack to minimize cost. The test and calibration stand was designed to perform full-flow, overshoot, surge, pressure control testing, meter calibration and Millipore and Aqua-Glo tests. Consisting of a 20,000-gallon horizontal aboveground storage tank, 600 GPM vertical turbine pump and test/calibration and filter separator equipment station, the test and calibration stand is capable of re-certifying 20 hydrant carts per day.

Phase 5 - Tank Farm Expansion

Argus’ current project provides for the demolition of two existing 5,000 BBL aboveground storage tanks and the construction of two new 10,000 BBL aboveground storage tanks. Pile supported, these new tanks will be enclosed in a common concrete containment for space efficiency. Firefighting foam and cooling deluge water for the new tank farm is provided by provisions in the recently completed tank farm design. This project also provides a new 2,700 s.f. parts-storage and equipment maintenance building with additional equipment parking to allow the operator to consolidate the system operation.