ABAA clears the air on fuel shortage

The Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority says it intends to reenter discussions with RUBIS West Indies to ensure the reduction of any future disruptions in the provision of aviation gas to the Airport.

Last week the media reported that the travel plans of 150 passengers transiting through Monserrat from Antigua, were affected by a shortage of aviation gasoline – Avgas – as none of the fuel trucks are said to be working.

But in a statement to the media on Sunday, the Airport Authority said it wanted to set the record straight on the handling of fuel operations at the V.C. Bird International Airport to dispel any misleading notions resulting from information shared in the media on the weekend.

To place the matter in proper context, the authority said that the Fuel Farm at the airport was formerly owned under a joint agreement between RUBIS West Indies and Sol Aviation, the Joint Operator (JO).

That arrangement they say no longer exists and the Fuel Farm is currently solely owned and operated by RUBIS.

Airport authorities say aviation fuel sold at VCBIA is Jet A1 and AVGAS and further AVGAS accounts for less than 1% of fuel sales at VCBIA and is the type of fuel used mainly by the smaller aircraft.

With the Construction of a new terminal and parking apron, the airport authority said it opted to construct and own the new underground Fuel Hydrant System that connects to the Fuel Farm. Previously, the old system was owned and operated by the Joint Operator (JO).

In March 2015 following months of negotiations, the airport authority entered into an Exclusive Lease and Concession Agreement with the Joint Operator for use of the new system and the continuation of the exclusive rights to supply all Aviation Fuel at VCBIA.

During these negotiations, the operators asked that the agreement provides for the continuance of an existing arrangement with Bizjet-to-Yacht which allowed the retail sale of all AVGAS fuel to be handled through the group.

And …the airport in August 2014, the rights enjoyed by Bizjet-to-Yacht under this agreement were transferred to Signature Flight Support Limited under the sale agreement of FBO 2000 and related entities.

VCBIA says they are very concerned with the issues related to the recent unserviceability of the AVGAS Fuel dispensing operations.


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