A five-day outage of QT Petroleum on Demand self-serve aviation fuel kiosks threatened to strand pilots at airports that rely solely on self-serve fueling.
Users of the self-serve systems installed at airports across the country began experiencing unexplained outages on May 29, and the server issue was repaired “in the early afternoon of June 3,” QTPod General Manager Matt Duncan explained via email June 4.
Duncan wrote that the company understood that the “aviation community relies on our self-serve terminals.”
The modern-looking kiosks have an improved data-entry system and sunlight-readable displays for a more efficient user experience compared to older self-serve fueling machines, many of which were also manufactured by the company. The fueling machines contain a rotating digital display and tactile keypads and are marketed as being “able to withstand [the] harshest conditions,” the company noted on its website. The devices are said to use a “Next-Gen communication” system designed to eliminate “expensive dedicated dialup lines and dropped transactions.” Web-based software allows FBOs secure access and real-time transaction reconciliation to closely monitor cash flow.
During the outage, the Boulder, Colorado-based fuel management firm advised users that “if you have a way of accepting payments other than the M4000 you can use manual mode” to turn on the pump device, which must then be reset “after each transaction.” However, there was no indication how pilots visiting rural airports with limited fuel services could access the machine’s internal manual override themselves, nor how they could arrange to pay for fuel until the systemwide problem was resolved.
Duncan apologized for the disruption and said that the firm was “aware of the impact and frustration this outage caused for our customers, airports, and pilots.”
QT Petroleum on Demand also serves the marine environment.