Business News of Friday, 22 February 2013

Source: B&FT

Shortage of aviation fuel lingers

Many international airlines flying into the country have to make alternative arrangement to lift fuel from neighbouring countries - Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria - as a result of aviation fuel shortage in the country.

Management of the Joint Users Hydrant Installation (JUHI) on Tuesday issued another statement in as many days to International Airlines’ informing them of the shortage and the need for them to make alternative arrangements. Domestic airlines, in the short-term, are covered by the current stock.

“Somehow [with regard to shortage of aviation fuel] we are OK. All the domestic operators are OK. It [the supply of fuel to domestic operators] will last for a while. With regard to the international airlines, we expect a ship to dock and then we can review that notam,” Mrs. Catherine Apeagyei, Aviation Operations Manager of Shell Ghana Limited, told the B&FT

Some stakeholders have attributed the shortage of aviation fuel to challenges faced by Bulk Distribution Companies (BDC). The situation last Saturday led to the cancellation of many evening flights by all domestic airline operators, while some international airlines had to make alternative arrangements to lift fuel elsewhere.

“The non-availability is just not good at all. We say we want to make Ghana an aviation hub when we don’t have fuel. It’s just a convergence of so many negative factors that is impacting the industry,” Mr. Apiigy Afenu, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Africa World Airline said.

Works on the installation of new storage tanks for Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) Supply at the Kotoka International Airport is nearing completion. The new ATK tanks have a capacity of 1,540,000 litres -- enough to last for one month. It is an improvement over the current storage capacity of 1,400,000 litres which can last for just two days.

Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK), used in the aviation industry, is highly filtered to remove all impurities and is of a higher quality than the other fuels.

The GACL is also undertaking the Kotoka International Airport rehabilitation Phase III project. The on-going project involves de-rubberising the runway to remove particles of rubber left on it as a result of the braking-friction on aircraft tyres, works on the apron, and installation of runway lights among others.

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority says it anticipates a 10 percent growth in the aviation sub-sector this year. The growth, it said, will be driven by an increase in the number of dedicated cargo-carriers and the number of passenger-carriers flying into the country.