Air BP has developed a digital platform it believes will help eliminate the possibility of misfueling. The system, launched at EBACE this week, involves an application – called safe2go – for handheld devices used by ground crews.

Safe2go checks throughout the fueling process that the right fuel is being put into the aircraft.

“This is the first technology that specifically focuses on misfuel prevention,” says Irene Lores, Air BP’s global marketing director for general aviation. “The engineering barrier it represents is unique, and new to the industry.

“The drive is to enhance safety, reliability and compliance in our airport fueling operations,” she says.

Air BP has been working on the system for two years and has tested it extensively at nine airports in the UK, Cyprus and Portugal. The intention is to deploy it at some 350 sites in around 25 countries by 2020.

“That gives you an idea of how confident we are that this is a very reliable technology,” Lores says. “Of course, should there be a problem [with the digital processes or networks], we will always refer back to the manual process. All the other misfueling barriers will still apply.”

Misfueling is a rare occurrence, but if it happens the results can be catastrophic.

“For us, it remains something that’s always on top of our concerns and priorities,” Lores says. “It’s one of the top priorities for any operator doing refueling operations at an airport – and for the airport themselves, as well as for the customer.”

Air BP plans to use safe2go first within its own organization, ensuring that the training burden – which should be light – is felt entirely within the company. There are no published plans to roll it out as a commercial service, though that remains a possibility.

“It’s not necessarily restricted to us, though it is at the moment,” Lores says. “There are conversations, potentially, with third parties to go into licensing arrangements.

“They see the value of incorporating the advantages into their own systems,” she says.

Lores sees two main benefits to the company in deploying the technology.

“One is, as we said, it introduces additional barriers to prevent misfueling,” she emphasizes. “Also, we’re migrating to paperless technology, and by doing this, leading to more accurate data.

“We can avoid any miskeying errors which can also happen on the airfield. This will help ensure more efficient operations at the airfield.”