Aviation refuelling has traditionally relied on paper-based systems and face-to-face interactions on the apron between flight crew, engineers and fuelling teams. This manual process can cause inefficiencies and delays.

We have been working with airline customers to develop digital solutions and in 2020 launched SkyPad Data Exchange, a fully digital end-to-end refuelling process based on Shell’s SkyPad tablet. Utilising an API (Application Programme Interface) developed to IATA data fuel standards, SkyPad Data Exchange enables Shell and airline systems to share data, from the initial fuel order through the fuelling activity itself, to invoicing and reconciliation. This direct exchange of data between SkyPad Data Exchange and airline systems, improves data accuracy, reduces errors and saves time.

Refuelling processes based on manual sign-off between pilot and refueller inevitably lead to delays. Pilots waste valuable time finding the refueller to update fuel volumes and refuellers then need to find the pilot to manually sign off final fuel amounts. By connecting pilots and refuellers in real-time, SkyPad Data Exchange removes the need for the pilot to leave the cockpit and has been shown to save between 8 to 13 minutes in refuelling time1. To date the SkyPad tablet has been rolled out to over 140 sites in more than 20 countries.2

Shell Aviation continues to develop innovative refuelling solutions to improve efficiency. Our On Time Performance (OTP) analytics collects and analyses data from airline arrival, refuelling and departure times to further improve apron efficiency. Our innovation team is also currently working on exciting new technology designed to speed up the physical refuelling process and assist in reducing refuelling times.

Operational Excellence

Every day our teams work at airports all around the world ensuring that thousands of aircraft are refuelled efficiently and take off. To support continuous improvement in our operations we have developed a system called BICAO (Best In Class Airfield Operations). This system focuses on simple key best practices and continuous review of our daily activities and acts as a platform to benchmark the efficiency of each airport compared to global best in class locations. Key areas covered include:

  • Traffic surveys to help optimise overall resource
  • Roster design to ensure efficient staffing levels
  • Vehicle fleet management, helping optimise vehicle usage

The learnings from this extensive operational experience are available via our team of technical experts to help you achieve continuous improvement.

1 Based on observed and recorded performance by ground operators using Shell SkyPad Data Exchange at Manchester Airport in November 2019
2 Data as of September 2020

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