International aviation fuel supplier AirBP has developed a new on-line app with aviation services company RocketRoute which enables biz-jet and GA operators to order fuel in advance directly from the supplier at the airports they fly to. BILL READ FRAeS reports
Called the RocketRoute Fuel App, the cloud-based system enables users to use their computers or iPads to access a global network of aviation fuel locations, place an order and pay - all with a few clicks.
RocketRoute also produces a flight planning app. (Rocketroute)
RocketRoute is an aviation services company offering smart technology for flight planning, fuel and concierge services. The company already produces an advance flight planning app and system which is used by airlines, business aviation and private pilots. “We have already processed over one million flights and have more than 120,000 registered users flying worldwide,” explains Kurt Lyall, Co-Founder of RocketRoute. “A total of 17% of all flight plans filed in Europe for general and business aviation purposes during 2015 were filed through RocketRoute. Our aim is to enable flight departments or individual pilot to be to use any device, anywhere to access everything they need to operate an aircraft and to connect directly with service suppliers on the ground.
Air BP’s fuelling facility at Grenoble-Le Veroud airport in France. (Air BP)
The aviation division of BP, Air BP is one of the world's largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services, supplying around 7bn gallons of jet kerosene and aviation gasoline each year to over 2m aircraft around the world. Air BP operates from 800 locations in over 50 countries serving customers ranging from private pilots to military forces and international airlines. Over these customers, around 13,500 are GA users.”
The fuel ordering app is designed for both business aviation and GA users.
Air BP first began working with RocketRoute in 2014 and acquired a minority stake in the company in April. “The move has enabled both companies to jointly continue developing new technology solutions with the aim of simplifying the complexity of flight planning and fuel purchasing for private pilots, owners, operators and flight departments,” explains Lyall. “Following on from the fuel ordering app, we plan to add more trip planning applications to become a broader digital marketplace for the aviation community.”
Using the app
The app can be downloaded either from the Apple store for iPads, or from the RocketRoute website for all other devices at http://www.rocketroute.com/fuel. “The app is designed for the global operator and pilot community and is offered to anyone with a fuel requirement, not just current Air BP customers,” explains Norbert Kamp, Chief Commercial Officer of Air BP.
Once users have registered details of themselves and their aircraft, they can then start using the app to order fuel. First they can search for airports (above left) and then select the aircraft type (above right).
The next stage is to order the type and quantity of fuel needed (above left) and when it is needed (above right). Only aircraft which are compatible with the type of fuel selected are displayed - ie. Avgas for piston-engined aircraft or jet fuel for jet aircraft. The maximum fuel capacity for each aircraft is also displayed. “Users have the choice between selecting a set amount of fuel or pressing ‘Captain’s Request’ to postpone the decision on quantity until later,” explains Norbert Kamp. “You can also choose between ordering the fuel ASAP, On Arrival, On Departure or at a particular time.”
Once the fuel has been ordered, app users can see the amount they will pay (left) and can specify how they wish to pay for it (right). “Customers to pay with either an Air BP Sterling Card or a regular credit card,” says Kamp. “Existing Air BP customers can also access their own personal pricing. However, the payment is not actually taken until the fuel is loaded. If a customer should miss the refuelling appointment for some reason, no money changes hands and a new appointment can be made.”
Before the order is finalised, customers have the opportunity to check the details (left) before confirming the details (right). An email is sent to the customer with details of the transaction.
One feature of the app that Air BP is keen to highlight is the ability for customers buying fuel to offset the associated greenhouse gas emissions. “This is done via carbon credits which support low carbon development projects around the world supported by our not-for-profit initiative BP Target Neutral,” said Norbert Kamp. This feature will be free-of-charge until the end of 2016, after which customers will have the option through the system interface to pay to offset their carbon footprint. “We anticipate that the growing number of aviators who want to reduce their carbon impact will welcome the carbon offsetting function of the app,” he concludes.
Air BP and RocketRoute will be jointly exhibiting at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Orlando, USA held from 1-3 November. (Rocketroute)
The RocketRoute team is to visit the Single Engine Turboprop Operators Conference & Fly-in to be held at the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, London Oxford Airport on 18 October. Air BP and RocketRoute will be jointly exhibiting at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Orlando, USA held from 1-3 November.