Local airport staff really jump to the pump

The Comox Valley Airport provided more than four million litres of jet fuel to aircraft in 2010 — its first year offering an aircraft fuelling facility through a partnership with Shell Canada Ltd.

  • Feb. 10, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Comox VAlley Airport Commission staff celebrate the airport’s first year providing an aircraft fuelling facility.

The Comox Valley Airport provided more than four million litres of jet fuel to aircraft in 2010 — its first year offering an aircraft fuelling facility through a partnership with Shell Canada Ltd.

The airport — YQQ — marked its first successful year in the aviation fuelling business this month.

More than 4.1 million litres of jet fuel were pumped into about 1,000 waiting aircraft this past year.

Having aviation fuel available on site is a key service offering for all YQQ air carriers, including WestJet, Central Mountain Air, Pacific Coastal and, most recently, the Air Transat chartered Canjet B-737s.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this service in its first year of operation,” said Shirley de Silva, CEO of the Comox Valley Airport. “Our partnership with Shell Aviation has been excellent and has allowed us to service our air carriers with jet fuel whenever it is needed. This type of service is essential in attracting additional airlines and routes to the Comox Valley Airport.”

Shell Aviation built and paid for the 120,000-litre fuel facility and two 20,000-litre fuel vehicles to support the operation.

YQQ operates the facility and fuel trucks with five employees, an airside manager and administrative support.

Original plans estimated a volume of 1.6 to two million litres of fuel, but this mark was surpassed during the summer months. The final result was a doubling in fuel demand, with more than 4.1 million litres of fuel provided.

To meet this increased need, YQQ hired two additional part-time maintenance/fuel employees.

“Today’s anniversary is a result of more than three years of planning and over $1 million of investment in the new fuel facility, equipment and service vehicles,” said airside manager Ash Mohtadi. “Our fuel team has done a remarkable job of quickly coming up to speed and maintaining Shell Aviation’s quality standards, while satisfying airlines’ needs. We look forward to a continued successful working relationship with Shell in the years to come.”

Construction of the fuel facility began in October 2009. The first aircraft fuelled on Feb. 4, 2010, was a WestJet B737-700 aircraft, which received 3,900 litres of jet A1fuel.

Jet fuel services are now available seven days per week at YQQ.

Prior to the launch of the new fuel farm, any refuelling requirements were met by 19 Wing Comox.

— Comox Valley Airport

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