Beginning of September, Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) became the first airport connected to a digital fuel platform. With Shell as a fuel provider, selected airlines from now on can rely on digital data exchange and the elimination of manual processes.
Due to COVID-19, airlines face enormous pressure at the moment. They are forced to cut costs and streamline processes while implementing new regulations and requirements. This sums up to a challenge that demands massive efforts of every airline.
The Challenge With Airline Fueling Processes
In this context, the operational fueling process is often a weak point at many airlines. Usually, the words manual and verbal perfectly characterize an airline’s fuel process. I’m pretty sure you’re surprised to hear that. Isn’t the airline industry highly digital? You’re right. Now, the problem with fueling is that every airport is different. Different in terms of fuel supplier, fuel provider, and used IT systems. Therefore, the efforts for airlines are enormous.
The Fueling Process —Still— Consists Of Manual And Verbal Processes
As a result, the fueling process is based on verbal communication between an aircraft’s cockpit crew and the fuel supplier. Moreover, fuel slips and receipts are often hand-written and handed over to the cockpit crew manually
Independent Fuel Management Platforms
At this point, independent fuel management platforms come in. These are platforms that act as a middleware between airlines and fuel provider. Accordingly, airlines only have to connect to one platform instead of integrating a sheer endless number of fuel providers. Independent fuel management platforms did very well the recent years and connected a considerable number of European airports. However, Asia still was a blind spot.
Singapore Changi Airport To Be First Digital Fueling-Ready Airport In Asia
With Changi Airport, Singapore became the first Asian airport that is entirely digital fuel-ready. “Together with our Asian launching customer, Cathay Pacific, and Shell as fuel provider, we are beyond thrilled to connect Singapore Airport to our digital fuel network,” says Benjamin Walther, CEO of Information Design. After one month of joined testing between Cathay Pacific, Shell, and Information Design, the digital fueling process was officially launched on 7th September 2020.
The Digital Fueling “Rally” Has Just Started In Asia — More Will Follow Singapore Airport
Now that the first Asian airport is ready for the digital fueling process, it is very likely that other airports will follow shortly. “Currently, we are in detailed discussions with fuel providers at Hongkong Airport (HKG) to connect them to our fuel management platform,” says Benjamin Walther. “Besides that, we observe a growing demand for digital fuel process — driven by both Asian airlines and airports,” he continues.