A hydrant fuelling operation requires the pipelines to be positioned under the apron. Fuel is transferred from the storage to each hydrant point and a hydrant dispensing vehicle (dispenser) connects to the hydrant point in the ground and up to the aircraft fuelling point.


Issues affecting the aviation industry are:

  • Leaks contaminating the fuel
  • Locating a leak under the apron
  • Having to dig up large parts of the apron


The challenge

The consequence of hydrant leaks can be very high. A leak event at a commercial or military airport can result in:

  • Fuel contamination
  • Significant financial costs
  • Delayed or cancelled flights
  • Safety implications


Locating the leak on a few kilometers of hydrant network can be time-consuming and costly. Since 2000, Atmos has supplied a number of tightness monitoring systems for jet fuel pipelines and airport hydrant systems.

Why use an Atmos system?

Atmos technology is widely used on liquid pipelines which transport jet fuel over distances from as small as 100 meters to a few hundred kilometres. It was then successfully adapted and tested for airport fuel hydrant systems in military airports and naval bases where it has been in use since 2004. More recent innovations for Atmos aviation product include leak location and a field portable tightness monitoring solution.

Atmos technology has been in operation in the New Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport since 2006 and in Sydney International Airport since 2010. In both cases the system was extensively tested during real leak trials.

It was also independently tested at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) by Ken Wilcox Associated. Atmos Tightness Monitor was successful using the USA Environmental Protection Agency’s required procedures. In all cases, the minimum detectable leak threshold of 0.04 litre/hour/cubic metre threshold was achieved.

Atmos has been a member of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Strategic Partnerships Program for the past two years. This ensures that Atmos is constantly abreast of the needs of the industry and continues to develop solutions in line with the market needs.

Atmos solutions for the aviation industry are:


Atmos Tightness Monitor

Atmos Tightness Monitor is a statistical tightness monitoring system used to test for leaks in airport hydrants. It uses sequential probability ratio test (SPRT) to detect changes in the overall pressure.

SPRT analyzes the pressure variation over a high pressure and then a lower pressure to confirm the tightness of a test section. The system does not require temperature sensors for leak confirmation. Wave Gen acquisition units provide leak location.

Compliant with EI 1540, EI 1560, JIG2, and JIG4.

Atmos Portable Tightness Monitor 

The field portable version of the system is supplied in two Peli™ cases and can be quickly connected to the hydrant pipeline by the operator. Following completion of the test it can be quickly disconnected and moved to other hydrant segments for further testing. The hardware can be connected to the hydrant via a coupler on a refuelling point or via a low point drain.

Compliant with EI 1540, EI 1560, JIG2, and JIG4.


Atmos Leak Trial Manifold

Specifically designed portable leak trial manifold capable of accurate, low-flow measurement in hazardous areas in order to verify a tightness monitoring system on an airport fuel hydrant system.

Visit the LinkedIn page ‘Aviation Fuel Hydrant Operation’ to participate in discussions about the aviation industry with Atmos representatives.



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