Fuel Sense: It Only Works When We Work Together
While I’ve seen the effects of Fuel Sense first hand it has taken some time to grasp the power of this project.
I understand what aircraft maintenance provides for Fuel Sense, however, it wasn’t until the actual numbers were posted that I stood back and realized the monumental impact this program has had. Since 2007 when we started, we’ve saved 334.2 million gallons of fuel. This is a big number but it means even more when put into perspective.
The emissions produced from 334.2 million gallons of jet fuel is like burning 3,189,323,308 lbs of coal – enough energy to power 270,000 homes for a year. The cost savings would be enough to purchase four Boeing 777 freighters. When I look at it in these terms, I see the huge contribution each of our team members have made. It takes a team effort, though. Fuel Sense only works when we – and this means all of us (Flight, Line Maintenance, GOC, Ramp, Facilities and Planning) – work together.
How does each team member contribute? Consider this. Simply keeping APU (auxiliary power unit on the aircraft) usage down by 60 seconds across all our flights adds up. That could save us 230,000 gallons. The emissions avoided here is equivalent to taking 470 cars off the road for a whole year.
Aircraft Maintenance also participates in providing air conditioning carts in the hot summer months. This essentially keeps the flight deck cool and provides cooling for the avionics. This is not an easy task in the Memphis summer, but it keeps our aircraft ready to dispatch and crews from starting the APUs too soon. We also prioritize our work by repairing those MEL (Minimum Equipment List) items that carry a fuel burn penalty. These are only a couple of things we are doing to help with Fuel Sense.
Sometimes we are not aware of the potential we have to influence the outcome and perhaps we think that only big quantities matter as oppose to saving a drop/gallon every day on every flight. It’s the little things that add up for success: marshaling aircraft – being there when we are needed to avoid causing the aircraft to stop and wait; awareness of fouled gates – forcing the aircraft to idle while waiting for a parking spot; wing walkers – making sure the walkers are aware of the inbound flight and are ready to assist.
I am very proud to be a part of the MEM aircraft line maintenance organization and of the support we provide for this program, but as I said, we are part of a bigger team. It takes the entire team to accomplish what we have and I am honored to be a member. It is not only our responsibility, but the right thing to do because that’s who we are. It’s the FedEx way.
Fuel Sense blog posts:
– Fuel Sense: Every Drop Counts at FedEx Express
– Two Misunderstood Words: Economical and Responsible
– Fuel Sustainability: When Does it Make Sense to go Extra Thick?
– Saving Fuel to Defend our Nation
– Fuel Sustainability: Simple Adjustments Save Millions
– How We Overcame Cultural Inertia and Saved Millions
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