08/02/05 — Pilots are looking for cheaper fuel, too

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Pilots are looking for cheaper fuel, too

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 2, 2005 1:47 PM

Local drivers are not the only ones in search of lower gas prices. Pilots are also searching for bargains on increasingly more expensive jet fuel, local airport officials say.

Some pilots are stopping at Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal and Duplin County airports to take advantage of lower prices at the pump.

Jim Steele, of the Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport, said pilots will usually call around to different airports in search of the lowest price.

The average cost of aviation fuel nationwide is currently $3.27 per gallon for aviation fuel and $3.21 per gallon for jet fuel. In the southern region of the country, fuel prices are $3.41 for aviation fuel and $3.21 for jet fuel. Costs of fuel went up in July 22 cents a gallon. As a result, the Goldsboro-Wayne airport raised its fuel prices to $3.27, only 14 cents more for consumers.

"Sometimes you have to cut back to stay competitive," Goldsboro-Wayne County Airport fixed base operation manager Tom Kimbrough said.

In Duplin County, fuel costs are about $3 per gallon.

Mount Olive Town Manager Ray McDonald said even pilots from outside the area have been to Duplin County's airport to fuel up and to save money.

"People are going to save what they can," he said.

Pilots might be finding cheaper fuel prices in Duplin County, but for local residents, the costs are some of the highest the airport has seen in a long time. Airport manager George Futrelle said prices have increased by more than 10 percent.

"Our fuel costs have increased 21 percent for 100 Octane aviation gas, and 31 percent for Jet-A fuel, respectively, since last year at this time," Futrelle said.

Fuel prices have been going up every month, and they are not expected to come down anytime soon, he said.

Despite the rise in aviation fuel, Kimbrough said prices still are not as high as they were in the 1980s.