b'FUELINGRBO 67planning, surveying, design, bidding support and constructionProject Paying Dividends support. The new fueling station has been open nearly a year now, and airport Once we got the green light from TXDOTemployees continue to receive very positive feedback from pilots. to do this project, one of our first roles was toThey appreciate the capability for complete self-service, and the 75-select the ideal location on airport property infoot hoses at the pump work for nearly any type of aircraft.which to place the proposed facility, statesWith jet fuel now available, the airport is already drawing more Garrett Gjerstad, business unit director ofjet traffic. We have jumped from 0% sales in jet fuel to about 20% general aviation for Argus. We also neededof our total fuel sales in the last few months, Cox reports. I also to set up a procedure to allow the removalbelieve our newly remodeled terminal, which includes a reception of the old tanks and infrastructure once theGARRETT GJERSTAD area and conference room, will make RBO a more attractive new fuel system was commissioned and fullydestination for pilots.functional. In another positive development, Tesla is planning to build a Engineers located the new fueling station at the northeast sidefactory nearby to make batteries for its electric cars. Once it opens, of the apron, which is convenient to the runway and main terminalCox expects increased aircraft traffic associated with the new building, notes Gjerstad.manufacturing facility. In the near future, we may have to extend The airports outdated underground tank system has beenour [3,700-foot] runway to accommodate potentially larger jets, he replaced with a new, code-compliant aboveground facility. The newsays. But that is a welcome challenge for another day.system includes two 12,000-gallon double-wall fuel storage tanksPerhaps most importantly, Cox is confident that the new fuel (UL-2085) with a combination self-serve over-wing fuel dispensingsystem is sturdy enough to withstand any weather. Here in Texas, skid. The tanks are above ground, with pipes leading to the newthere is a saying: Run from water, and hide from the wind. Our dispensing skid and aircraft fueling position.new fuel facility should hold its ground against everything Mother In addition to increasing its storage capacity for Avgas (100LL),Nature throws at us. the airport opted to add Jet-A fuel to help broaden its customer base and provide additional services. The new tanks are configured to allow transport trucks to^|moRK===N===QLULNV===TWMS=^jdeliver fuel directly into the tanks. The dispensing skid includes a modern fuel management unit with a credit card reader that can be accessed by pilots for self-service fueling. An on-station adapter is available for pilots who require under-wing fueling. Weather Issues Construction of the new system started in March 2021, and contractors had only worked a few weeks before encountering the biggest challenge of the entire project. In May and June, several severe thunderstorms pounded the region. Due to the airports location, it is very`susceptible to flooding, states Seth Newbold,jArgus construction manager for the project. AtSETH NEWBOLD vone point during these storms, the construction`jsite was under 2 feet of water! jvEventually, three change orders were issued to extend the `vcontract completion date, but airport officials and TXDOT both accepted the development. The harsh storms had affected virtually`jveveryone in the region in some form or fashion.hEven when the flooding subsided, weather challenges remained. We were about to pour concrete when more heavy rains came, Newbold recalls. To do this, we needed at least one week of dry weather, preferably two. This also delayed the project. Fortunately, the contractor was really good about catching up. Ultimately, the weather challenges ended up causing about a four-month delay. In the end, construction lasted about one year. AirportImprovement.comJanuary | February 2023'