It is an exciting time for the UAE when it comes to the aviation sector. Future Airport Asia sits down with Khalid Hadi, vice-president of marketing and corporate communications division at ADNOC Distribution, to discuss what the future holds for the emirates and how the company can help.

Can you give us a brief background of the company?

Khalid Hadi: ADNOC Distribution has been a leading player in the distribution of petroleum products since 1982. It is a diversified energy group – a major driver of the UAE’s economy and an important community player. It is a preferred employer of choice and currently boasts a 9,000-strong team comprising 50 different nationalities from all around the world. ADNOC Distribution is part of the ADNOC Group, which is consistently ranked among the top ten energy companies worldwide.

In the UAE, ADNOC Distribution owns and operates 275 service stations, 139 ADNOC Oasis stores, two stand-alone ADNOC Autoserv car care centres, 11 Salama vehicle inspection centres, five multiproduct depots and more than 15 aviation fuel depots catering to commercial or military requirements at the UAE’s airports. Its lubricants range, ADNOC Voyager, is marketed in the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Europe.

ADNOC Distribution’s extensive network of service stations is fitted out with the latest technology for fuelling, automatic car washing, tyre changing and engine oil replacement. In addition, it sells a wide range of products through its ADNOC Oasis outlets. The company has recently pioneered a project to use compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel in Abu Dhabi. This green initiative was followed through with the emirate-wide opening of maintenance centres to help vehicles run on natural gas.

ADNOC Aviation Services is the main division under ADNOC Distribution. This unit provides a comprehensive range of aviation fuel products and services that conform to international high-quality specifications and standards, primarily catering to the military and civil aviation sectors.

As a strategic supplier of fuel and high-end oilfield products for the aviation sector, ADNOC Distribution, through its aviation services division, operates state-of-the-art service station facilities across the emirates. The company also manages and operates an excellent transportation network to provide fuel to more than 120 international, regional and local clients.

ADNOC Aviation Services has won international recognition, such as the Quality Award from the American Military Traffic Management Command. The department fulfils the needs of its customers, ranging from private small jets to giant commercial planes around the clock.

The aviation services unit has ambitious growth plans to expand its presence outside the UAE. The division is currently studying potential growth opportunities in the GCC markets, with a special focus on Saudi Arabia.

You offer aviation fuels and services. What is the company’s strategy behind providing modern airports with jet fuel?

ADNOC Distribution seeks to operate a well-organised transportation network and to deliver uncompromising quality, safety and service excellence from the refinery process through to apron management. The company continuously invests in infrastructure and aviation equipment to ensure the latest technology is implemented to improve the quality and efficiency of services. The company currently manages an extensive network of airport fuel depots across the UAE’s main airports. This network, in addition to providing fuel products, also offers ancillary aviation services through ADNOC Aviation Services.

ADNOC Aviation Services is a strategic partner and a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and a joint member of the Joint Inspection Group (JIG) since 2011. Today, it continues its efforts to expand its infrastructure of pipelines to provide more fuel to its customers from the civil and commercial aviation sectors promptly and in the safest possible manner.

Within the framework of a modern airport, how does ADNOC Distribution streamline fuel operations and efficiency?

As a strategic supplier of fuel and high-end products, ADNOC Aviation Services operates state-of-the-art facilities to ensure the delivery of safe, top-notch services to clients. ADNOC Distribution’s fuelling/defuelling services range from the smallest to the largest aircraft, as well as to helicopters of various sizes and specifications. The company also applies a strict monitoring policy to control products throughout the production, transportation, storage and distribution cycle within refineries, pipelines, intermediate terminals, airport storage facilities and into-plane services.

One of the key challenges in the distribution of petroleum products is ensuring an efficient turnaround time while maintaining product quality and airside safety. How do you achieve that balance?

ADNOC Distribution complies with international aviation operations standards, as well as aviation equipment and design standards. It is keen to continuously integrate the latest technology and process upgrades to better serve the dynamic needs of its customers. In addition, ADNOC Distribution is a regular participant in organisations and groups including JIG, IATA and the International Association for Stability, Handling and Use of Liquid Fuels (IASH). Such affiliations ensure the delivery of high-quality operations, consistent processes and up-to-date performances.

ADNOC Distribution’s aviation fuels are refined to meet the most stringent jet fuel specifications set for commercial and military fuels. Quality and safety are given the highest priority throughout the distribution process. Therefore, advanced safety measures, including the firefighting system that is integrated into the design of the depot, are in place, and care is taken to ensure the equipment is up to date and periodically inspected to maintain efficient functionality. Also, required resources are planned in advance through the continuous monitoring of the growth and demand experienced by the aviation industry.

Close collaboration with our key stakeholders allows us to understand their needs and the environment we operate in. Continuous monitoring also enables us to identify areas of improvement and ensure that reliable services are provided to our customers.

Improving the competence of personnel through periodic training and staff development enhances our ability to use our workforce at optimal levels, and ensures safe and efficient operations in all stages throughout our network. The staff are retrained on a routine basis to stay abreast of the latest procedures and efficiently carry out their responsibilities.

Do you have some case studies of airports and airlines you’ve worked with that you are able to share?

ADNOC Distribution received approval to start its operations at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the word. This is a very important milestone for the company and is in line with its future expansion plans. Currently, ADNOC Distribution is in talks with relevant government departments in Dubai to fast-track this process, and we aim to start operations within a year.

ADNOC Distribution plans to extend its support to commercial flights at Dubai World Central (DWC) to meet the growing needs of the aviation sector in the UAE.

The company is reviewing the pricing structure currently in place, and hopes to expand its services to meet customers’ operational needs at DWC and other locations. We will continue to provide support to projects that encourage sustainable development while maintaining the quality of our environment.

ADNOC Aviation Services has recently signed deals with three new customers – Serbian Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Chemoil – at Abu Dhabi International Airport, and the outlook for the future is promising.