flush is successfully completed, this project required
detailed coordination with stakeholders to complete
with minimal impact to operations.
The terminal’s underground piping, or hydrant system,
connects to the LAXFUEL transfer line system on
the north side of the terminal and delivers fuel to
each gate through hydrant pits. Modifications to the
terminal’s underground piping required flushing the
system to remove any residual sediment or weld slag
left behind when new sections of steel piping were
added. Fuel is flushed through the system and into
large mobile tanks positioned near the hydrant pits.
Fuel is sampled for quality to confirm standards for
clean fuel are met. Aircraft fueling is not permitted
until the fuel system has been adequately flushed.
Since flushing requires a fuel shutdown, it must be
completed during the short window at night when
there are no aircraft operations. The flush at Terminal 1
was particularly challenging because it required more
time than anticipated. Crews put in a team e;ort to
see that mandatory quality standards were met in
time to restore the fuel system to normal operation
before scheduled flights resumed the next morning.
PDX ISOLATION VALVE INSTALLATION
At PDX, airlines worked with the airport to create a
plan for testing underground fuel lines. Evaluations
of fuel volumes in each line segment revealed that
a transfer line — from the fuel facility to the terminal
area — had too much fuel for optimal testing.
The lower the volume in the line, the more
accurate the testing results would be.
The airport's Airline Fuel Consortium retained
Burns & McDonnell to install an isolation valve in the
middle of the transfer line, to divide the system for
testing. Using a design-build approach, the team
conducted planning with the airport, airlines and fuel
system operator and safely installed the underground
isolation valve vault without disturbing airport
operations or airline fueling services.
The new isolation valve and vault were installed
adjacent to the existing transfer line, with an overnight
tie-in. The overnight work — allotted eight hours —
required the following steps:
• Draining down about 30,000 gallons of fuel
• Cutting the existing pipe at two locations
• Installing equipment and connection piping at
• Refilling the pipe
To achieve success, Burns & McDonnell first
conducted a practice run. Draining the fuel verified
how long it would take to drain during actual
construction. The well-orchestrated e;ort resulted in
no flight delays, as the system was up and running an
hour ahead of schedule. The project also generated
savings of $465,000 on the overall project budget.
Grant Smith is director of commercial ramp services
in the Aviation Group at Burns & McDonnell, where
Dan Eekho; is a project manager. Connect with
them at linkedin.com/in/gsmithbmcd and