The airport splits the fuel charge due to inflation

Columbus Municipal Airport is using creative problem solving to meet a need for more fuel amid inflationary pressures.

Airport manager Brian Payne told aviation board commissioners that the airport shared the cost of a fuel charge with its fixed base operator (FBO), Jet Access Columbus.

According to airport office manager Regina Jessie, the airport has $32,000 left in its fuel budget; a full load would cost between $36,000 and $38,000. The airport will take 6,500 gallons of the load it shares with Jet Access, and the fixed base operator will take 2,000 gallons.

The airport budgeted $140,000 for fuel in 2021 and later received approval for an additional $60,000 credit. Therefore, officials have budgeted $200,000 in the category for 2022 and 2023.

Payne said the airport did so in hopes of not having to apply for additional credit again. However, the impact of inflation, as well as municipal deadlines, put them in a difficult situation.

“We missed the window to apply for additional credit right now,” Payne said. “So because of that, we’re going to share a load with Jet Access.”

This will keep the airport on budget and should last the rest of the year, he said.

Discussing finances, Payne also noted that the airport sold about 3,900 gallons of self-fuel in September, compared to 4,900 for the same month last year. He indicated that this may be due to the price, which was $4.31 per gallon last year and is now around $5.90.

Another item that has seen significant inflation is weed killer, with airport officials saying the price has risen from $15 to $51 a gallon.

“It put a nice squeeze on our 200-level budget,” Payne said. “So we’re really almost counting the pennies at the 200 level. We still have to buy salt. We still have to buy track chemicals.

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