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Presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia

DHL Worldwide Express Aircraft Refueling System

Prime Engineering, Inc.’s work on the DHL Worldwide Express Aircraft Refueling System received an Honor Award as part of the American Council of Engineering Consultants’ (ACEC) annual Engineering Excellence Program.  This represents Prime’s 8th project recognized for excellence since 1996.  This project was submitted under the Special Projects Category and was the only private sector project among the total 9 projects recognized for awards.

DHL Worldwide Express Aircraft Refueling System
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

What is the fastest, most economical way to accommodate the nightly refueling needs of 62 cargo jets? 

The jet fuel delivery method was a critical issue DHL senior management faced as part of constructing their new 94+ acre North American Operations Hub facility at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.  Based on Prime Engineering's successful completion of numerous fueling and airfield projects at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, DHL retained Prime to take advantage of past synergies developed with the multiple entities whose support was critical to the

project's success.  With the assistance of Prime Engineering, feasibility studies and analyses were conducted by DHL.  An optimal solution was devised involving connection to the existing Delta Air Lines hydrant fueling system, the installation of a 9,500 lf cross-airfield fuel line extension with active taxiway crossings, a new remote truck loading facility, and two into-plane hydrant positions.

Project schedule was a critical issue.  The system needed to be designed, permitted, constructed, and functional within 13 months.   Prime engaged a fast-track project approach to collaborate with critical airport stakeholders including Delta Air Lines, The State of Kentucky, Kenton County Airport Board (KCAB), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  These collaborations enabled the team to accomplish:

• Pipeline route selection and right-of-way/lease negotiations with KCAB

• Design & construction implementation requiring no operational delays

• FAA coordination to secure needed approvals including a proposed cross-airfield radio communication system

• Design and construction coordination with ongoing activities for the DHL Hub facility

• Identification, location, and conflict resolution of existing utilities

• Construction began in January 2003 during the coldest, most inhospitable winter in the region's recent history and the fueling system was fully operational 8 months later.

• The new facility employs over 1,800 individuals and generates an estimated $335 million in revenue for the tri-state area.

• Final construction cost was under budget at $4.3 Million, including a savings of approximately $108,000 that Prime helped DHL realize through utilization of the cross airfield radio system in lieu of a more costly installation of fiber optic cable.  This system was utilized to interface with the main fuel storage facility control system for fueling status and activation of emergency fuel shutoff valves.

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