How fuel management technology is reducing delays at Manchester Airport

A new refueling management system at Manchester Airport will help the airport cope with delays. The system, supplied by i6 Group, provides repositories with real-time information feeds to maximize operational efficiency. We explore this story below.

Manchester Airport implements refueling system

Every minute counts in the aviation industry as airlines and airports strive to achieve optimal operational efficiency and reduce costs. Manchester Airport’s new Refueling Management (MAN) system, in partnership with i6 Group, promises to play a crucial role in optimizing operations and minimizing delays.


The system will improve communication and integrate information feeds between airlines, refuelers and airport authorities, helping carriers refuel their aircraft faster.

Manchester Virgin Atlantic Airport

Photo: Manchester Airport

Steve Urhmacher, CEO of i6 Group, said:

“Advanced technology is key to achieving efficiency and sustainability benefits throughout the refueling process. It is a pleasure to bring our technology to Manchester and we look forward to implementing eHandshake, helping to create a smarter and more sustainable”.

Delays in the refueling process can affect an airline’s on-time performance (OTP) and increase operating costs. Other inefficiencies, such as under- or over-supply, also have both a financial and an environmental impact.

How exactly will this work?

The new replenishment management system boasts key features to deliver a seamless and cost-effective hardware and software replenishment solution. Firstly, refuelers will be kept up to date with real-time updates on flight information, such as delays or schedule changes, so they can be ready as soon as needed.

A Boeing 747 being refueled

Photo: Getty Images

As i6 Group explained,

“Feed integrations with airport and airlines will keep refuelers informed of the most up-to-date flight information, with faster updates for flight changes due to weather, disruptions or delays, ensuring refuelers are always in place right at the right time.”

Additionally, refuelers will know in advance the exact amount of fuel an airline requires, helping it to prepare accurately and avoid under- or over-fueling.

“eHandshake” technology will be available soon

i6 Group is the basis of the eHandshake system, which allows pilots to communicate directly with refuelers digitally. Typically, refueling orders are issued in person using paper tickets once the plane has landed, an outdated process that leads to significant inefficiencies.

According to i6, eHandshake “enables faster, paperless replenishment, social distancing, and a 50% reduction in the risk of overstockingVirgin Atlantic has already begun using eHandshake at major US airports, starting with San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and will be the first to use the technology at MAN when it will be implemented.

Eve Messenger, Fuel Manager at Virgin Atlantic, noted,

“As we focus on decarbonising aviation, it is critical for us to ensure that every drop of fuel is optimized during the refueling process. eHandshake allows us to collect accurate refueling data and ensure that the aircraft has the optimal amount of fuel to his journey.”

Do you have experience in aviation fuel management? How much will the rules of the game change at Manchester Airport? Let us know your insights in the comments.

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