When you pull up to the gas pump in your car, you probably don’t think much about what is in your fuel. Perhaps you try to find a certain brand based on the fuel card in your pocket, but usually price is the primary factor. What about when you’re fueling your aircraft? Most corporate aircraft pilots and operators are aware of the fuel system icing inhibitors (FSII) and biocides available as additives for jet-A and jet-A1.
Prodded by perceived FAA failings and the threat of summer air travel delays, the Senate Transportation and Finance Committees reached agreement late last week on how to fund the FAA for the next four years. If the bill is approved by the full Senate today, it is expected to keep avgas taxes at the current rate of 19.3 cents per gallon but increase jet fuel taxes to 36 cents per gallon, up from 21.8 cents.
Jet Aviation recently completed negotiations with three major worldwide fuel suppliers to provide discounts for its charter and managed aircraft fleets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Christoph Thurnherr, head of purchasing for Jet Aviation Business Jets in Zurich, Switzerland, said the company now provides discounts at close to 300 locations worldwide, with customer savings of up to 60 percent compared with posted retail fuel prices.
Crest Foam Industries of Moonachie, N.J., which has been installing its explosion-suppressant arresting foam in the fuel tanks of racing cars and military aircraft (including USAF Beechjets) for years, has formed a joint venture–Engineering Inerting Systems–with Aircraft Services Group of Ramsey, N.J., to market the foam for business aircraft.
Air BP is offering a new handbook, Introduction to Aviation Fuels Handling, to FBOs and line personnel. The handbook offers new line personnel an overview of the airport-fueling environment, according to author Mike Mooney. The handbook reviews many aspects of the aviation business and cites real-life examples to show
the consequences of errors in the airport environment.
After an absence of nearly 20 years, Shell Aviation announced its return to the U.S. general aviation market last month. “This is not just a trial run,” said Shell Aviation North American vice president Rick Woods. “We plan to be here for the long haul.”
Woods said fuel and other Shell products are now available at 284 branded FBOs across the country following the completion of a reseller agreement with Eastern Aviation Fuels.
Always looking for new ways to serve customers, Wilson Air Center founder Robert Wilson came up with the idea to modify fuel trucks so that they can display fuel delivered in pounds as well as gallons. Wilson flies his own turbine-powered airplanes and is familiar with the errors that can occur when converting gallons to pounds during fuel purchases.
Tyler Jet founder and owner Tim Beverley believes that it’s smart business for pilots to back-load fuel rather than tanker with full loads from home base. The extra wear on engines, tires and brakes is only part of the reason for buying inexpensive fuel on the way home from a round-robin trip, rather than on the way out.
The Wilson Air Center FBO chain, exhibiting at the Shell Aviation Booth (No. 405), has solved a weighty problem in fuel sales by introducing a system on its fuel trucks that registers fuel uploads in pounds as well as gallons. Fuel sales of avgas and jet-A have heretofore been indicated in gallons.
As oil prices remain above the $60 per barrel mark, operators, oil companies and government regulators are showing ever more interest in alternative jet fuels. At a March 8 speech at the U.S.