Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) has won the Ideas Arabia Competition 2016 in the ‘Health & Safety’ category for its innovative idea in the design and deployment of specialised jet refuelling hydrant servicers for the smaller-sized Boeing 737 aircraft.
The unprecedented advanced system allows for faster and safer refuelling of aircrafts reflecting ENOC’s commitment to HSE practices by investing in research and development to respond to market requirements.
A standard aircraft fuel hydrant servicer is designed to fit under a large aircraft. Due to their size, the Boeing 737 aircrafts require a servicer of lower height that allows it to be positioned directly under the wing of the Boeing 737 aircraft thus enabling for direct fuelling into the plane. This is in contrast to the standard servicer which had to be parked away from the aircraft, requiring an operator to carry the hose and use ladders to reach under the wing.
Saif Al Falasi, Group chief executive officer of Enoc, said: “Innovation is one of the core pillars of Enoc Group’s growth and sustenance. Our employees have consistently demonstrated excellence in their performance and as their careers progress we have seen some remarkable achievements. The creation of a specialised hydrant servicer to serve the Boeing 737 aircraft is testament to this innovative approach and we are thankful to Ideas Arabia for recognising and rewarding this extraordinary idea by EPPCO Aviation.”
In response to the requirement, a team from EPPCO Aviation coordinated closely with the customer Flydubai who in turn interacted with Boeing. The team identified the following specifications of the equipment – the maximum height of the hydrant servicer could be 216 cms from the ground compared to the standard design of 256 cms. It also identified that the design should be such that the driver’s cabin should be the highest part of the servicers with all other components being lower.
Following several months of testing, in September 2015, the newly designed hydrant servicer was commissioned for Flydubai fleet of aircrafts. The system also helped in servicing other airlines like Oman Air and Ethiopian Airlines amongst others.
Burhan Al Hashemi, managing director, Enoc Marketing of which EPPCO Aviation is a part, said: “High safety and health standards is an integral aspect of our operations and through the deployment of the new vehicle at the airport, operators are now exposed to less heat stress and safety risk due to the unique design of the servicer. Today’s challenging economy calls for innovation to reduce costs and enhance performance. The new hydrant servicer has reduced fuelling time by nearly 7 minutes per aircraft which translates into the cost of an operator per year. We are committed to investing in such technologies and innovations to serve our company and advance the sector as a whole.”
Aman Akram, director, EPPCO Aviation stated that this innovation is just one step in EPPCO Aviation’s drive to excellence and EPPCO Aviation employees are encouraged and empowered to constantly look at improving operations with new and creative ideas.
The innovative idea was part of ENOC’s INNOV8 employee suggestion programme, which was launched in 2012 to promote a culture of innovation across the Group. The programme is aligned with one of the key themes of Dubai’s vision for 2021 to create a ‘City of Happy, Creative & Empowered People’.