In just over one century, commercial aviation has revolutionised the way in which we live. Every day, nearly eight million passengers* board a flight to do business, reunite with family or to travel and expand their horizons.

Airports play a critical role, and without them, today’s modern economy would struggle to function effectively. Air transport has grown at almost twice the rate of GDP expansion, meaning that more people are travelling than ever before and growth is set to continue. 65 billion passengers have travelled by air in the past century, and it is estimated that another 65 billion passengers will take flight in the next 15 years**. Looking even further ahead, IATA projects that in 2050 aviation will fly 16 billion passengers and 400 million tonnes of cargo in one year alone.

This growth presents a great opportunity for the industry, but also puts great pressure on it. Today’s airport operators face significant challenges in maintaining the operational excellence of airport pavements, along with the increasing pressure to limit runway downtime:

  • Extended operating hours and less downtime for maintenance.
  • Increased air traffic volume and aircraft load as well as new landing gear configurations leading to increased requirements.
  • Short-term supplies of specialised high-quality bitumen are increasingly constrained leading to project delays.
  • More stringent safety regulations.
  • Increasingly adverse climatic conditions.

Working with partners from across the airport industry, Shell understands these issues and has developed solutions to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

* International Air Transport Association (IATA) website, March 2015.

** Aviation benefits beyond borders research, Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) 2012.

Global solutions for a global business

With refineries, plants and depots around the world, Shell is able to source materials from a far-reaching geography to meet supply commitments and to help mitigate the risk to our customers of regional supply volatility. Our in-house operations team strive to ensure customers get the right product, on specification, at the right time, every time, thus avoiding potential delays or cost to our customers’ projects.

Options of short- to long-term supply contracts coupled with reliable depot and terminal operations are designed to give our customers security of supply where and when they need it. Shell can work with you to help manage risk with various pricing mechanisms and manage volatile product costs in order to enable you to plan your business.

Leaders in technology

Shell’s commitment to continued innovation and technical expertise in bitumen is evidenced by our three global Bitumen Solution Centres, dedicated Bitumen R&D centre and technical support.

Our dedicated Shell Bitumen Solution Centres work with customers to develop solutions to meet and exceed their requirements for safe and durable airport pavements. Shell has developed a wide range of products suited to the airport sector, formulated to help reduce the need for maintenance and increase the pavement lifecycle.

Extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of bitumen technology, plus an ongoing commitment policy of continual product improvement, led to the development of Shell Cariphalte Fuelsafe. Shell Cariphalte Fuelsafe is a high-performance bitumen that has been specially designed by Shell to make asphalt surfaces last longer when exposed to the potential damage caused by spilt and leaking fuel. It is a proven and cost-effective bitumen that delivers at least three times more resistance to the costly effects of fuel leakage than conventional grades.

Paving the world’s busiest airports

Shell’s bitumen solutions have been used to pave over 100 of the world’s busiest airports, including:

  • Heathrow (UK).
  • Charles de Gaulle (France).
  • Dubai International (UAE).
  • Schiphol (Netherlands).
  • Hkia (Hong kong).
  • Changi (Singapore).
  • Klia (Malaysia).
  • Frankfurt (Germany).
  • Suvarnabhumi (Thailand)
  • Shell publishes sixth edition of bitumen handbook

Press Releases

Shell receives award for outstanding contribution to Bitumen research

Shell publishes sixth edition of bitumen handbook

Case studies

More in bitumen

Why choose us?

We are different. We innovate to add value for our customers and provide top quality products and services to help them win in the market.

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Shell Aviation has a presence at about 850 airports in 32 countries, refueling an aircraft every 14 seconds on average.

Every day, we supply 72 million litres of fuel on average.