Shell Aviation‘s excellence programme has proven to be a great success in many countries since its launch, just over a year ago. With key airports such as the UK’s Luton and Canada’s Edmonton International already reaping the benefits of the programme, we take a look at what ACE can do.

In 2014, Shell Aviation launched the Aviation Centre of Excellence (ACE) programme, aimed at helping fixed-based operators (FBOs) and small and medium sized airports to optimise their operations and safety processes to facilitate growth.
Focused on five key areas, the programme is designed to give customers marketing assistance, supply security, safe and effective operations delivery, asset supply, management and maintenance. Customers can also benefit from access to Shell’s airport operating manual, plus world-class health, safety, security and environment initiatives, flexible operations training, dedicated technical support, inspection, and assessment.

Available to existing and new customers, the programme has already seen positive uptake in its first year, with airports around the world benefitting from the suite of support services provided.

Luton looks at standards
Luton Airport is one such example. Shell Aviation has supplied Luton with fuel for more than 40 years, and has worked in partnership with the Luton Airport Authority to continuously enhance operational safety at the airport. The fifth busiest airport in the UK, passenger traffic at Luton grew by 21.5% in October 2015 compared with the same month last year. For the first time in the airport’s 77-year history, annual passenger traffic from the past 12 months has surpassed 12 million. And as traffic at the airport continues to grow, so has the complexity of the challenge to minimise the risks of harm, injury and disruptions from fuel-related accidents and spills.

Shell Aviation works with Luton Airport’s safety standards team to regularly assess the existing processes, operations safety instructions and airport notices for all fuel-related aspects of airfield operation, developing new safety standards, practices and initiatives where required. One such initiative involved an apron link road used to access the airport’s busy main apron, which posed challenges because of its unique topography – refuelling vehicles had to negotiate one section in particular with severe camber and a sharp slope on a bend. Shell Aviation identified the dangers of this manoeuvre specifically for a fuel tanker, while both teams created and implemented a traffic management system for the benefit of all traffic on the apron.

Shell Aviation has achieved 3,436 injury-free days at Luton Airport as of October this year. The outstanding record is a testament to the continuous commitment to cultivating a safety culture among staff, partners and local authorities.
Shell Aviation’s Luton Airport operations team was presented with the Shell Aviation Global Diamond Goal Zero Award in 2014. Shell’s Goal Zero policy is a company-wide health and safety initiative for no harm to people and no leaks. The prestigious award is given to one airport each year out of more than 800 airports around the world served by Shell Aviation, to recognise outstanding achievements in operational safety. Airports are assessed on eight health and safety metrics covering injuries, spills, aircraft incidents, near misses, monthly meetings, overdue nonconformities, and training and compliance inspection criteria.

Benefits for business growth
Initiatives and incentives like these help to encourage and recognise a mindset and behavioural change within the airport community, focusing on embedding health, safety, security and the environment at the centre of the organisational culture.
In addition to reducing the risk of injury, environmental impact, costs and disruptions associated with safety incidents, operational excellence can also present clear benefits to the growth of a business. Shell’s recent exclusive fuel supply agreement reached with Melbourne Aviation Precinct (MAP) is one example of this. MAP, which operates the general aviation apron at Melbourne International Airport, chose to work with Shell – a partner with a proven track record with private aviation customers. This partnership enables Melbourne to expand its compelling, curfew-free, round-the-clock offer to larger corporate jets.

While plans were under way to construct the new world-class fixed-base operator (FBO), complete with enough hangar space for a 737, offices, meeting and lounge facilities, Shell Aviation set to work putting a system in place to support the safe, quick and effective delivery of fuel to aircraft. Without a hydrant system at the facility itself, Shell invested in custom-fitted tankers that were configured specially for the job at hand – able to fit easily on to existing hydrants and large enough to turn around jets in a single fill.
By having the dedicated tanker for the premise itself, customers would not have to visit the main terminal, meaning that jets could be refuelled in 35 minutes and turned around in less than two hours. This has given MAP a strong proposition that combines speed and a 24-hour priority service as a fully functional base-offering today, with the FBO expected to be fully operational in 2017.

ACE around the world
The ACE programme is adaptable across the globe as another example takes place in Canada. Earlier in 2015, Edmonton International Airport approached Shell Aviation with a bold and progressive request to help grow cargo business by providing top-quality fuelling services to attract a new cargo route where Edmonton would serve as a modern, efficient link between China and the US. Shell Aviation’s services were a key factor in the airport securing its first Asian cargo contract in September 2015 with Air China Cargo, whose Boeing 777F freighter now lands in Edmonton six times a week – with three flights from Dallas and three from Shanghai.

The new contract win was a milestone for Edmonton International Airport and Shell, significantly increasing the annual fuel volume moved through the Shell AeroCentre at Edmonton International Airport. To ensure that refuelling equipment and staff were prepared to receive the first 777 cargo freighter to land in Canada, Shell helped run special change management programmes to make sure that equipment was fit for purpose and all staff trained to manage the logistics of refuelling the first Air China Cargo flight to land at Edmonton.

With a strategic long-term view of Edmonton’s growing cargo market, Shell also invested in a state-of-the-art storage tank to increase its capability and repositioned additional fuel trucks to ensure reliable contingency support. Shell Aviation’s tailored training and operations management programmes alongside its exceeding safety requirements were also critical factors in securing this new cargo service.

Customers at Air China Cargo now benefit from quick two-hour turnarounds with the refuelling solution at Edmonton. In partnership with Shell Aviation, Edmonton now looks to continue to build on the initial success of the first contract win to further develop the Asian cargo business in Canada, with a shared focus on growth, safety and customer service.
Other customers that are part of the Shell ACE programme include Brest-Bretagne in France; Saarbrücken in Germany; Turkey’s Gazipaşa; Seletar in Singapore; and Switzerland’s Zurich airports, collaborating with Shell to help enable operational excellence and growth.