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Top Tips for Buying Aviation Fuel


When planning to purchase aviation fuel for any business aircraft operator, be it a helicopter, small private aircraft or even a commercial business airline, a number of things require attention and research. The research, as we all do, helps us to mainly avoid delays in the supply of fuel. It also enables to get a cost-efficient package and prevent unexpected payables at the end of the purchasing process. Thus, it is crucial for us, even after purchasing fuel packages repeatedly from a number of suppliers, to pay attention to the correct supplier and have a back-up supplier in case of an emergency. In the end, we all need into-plane agents before the fuelling of aircraft is done. In addition, to make purchases with the correct information suiting your aviation operations, correct billing is also critical. 

Yes, we understand that the above planning and research consumes a lot of time, hard work, and brings stress when signing for the fuel contract. For your convenience, we have designed some tips below after which you wouldn’t need to look anywhere else. It’s like one homework for all your fuel purchasing solutions. 

1. Consider cost versus convenience

Whenever we speak of shopping for aviation fuel, it’s necessary to consider their costs. Cost is highly prioritised by most of the military and commercial aircraft who aim to maximise fuel efficiency with the lowest fuel costs.

Airlines mainly pay to agree on the price they have hedged at. Hedging refers to fixing the price of fuel for a set period of time. For instance, an airline can hedge for $2.15 per gallon for three years. Other than costs, convenience also plays a major role in fuelling up the aircraft. Many airlines face unnecessary delays because of the fueler, not on the location. Airline support systems need to ensure that their commercial ramp fuelers are parked accurately on the airfield to provide timely assistance. 

There are numerous cases of flights being delayed due to mismanaged refuelling, which a lot of us have faced. Too many flight delays tend to put a negative impact on our overall business of airlines. It is crucial to invest your time in looking for an airline support service that provides a market competitive cost in fuel delivery. While we understand that your money is valuable, with even half a dollar per gallon making a huge difference to your total cost, convenience also plays a major role. 

In the end, it all draws down to you. Either go with a cheap aviation fuel supplier who might delay the delivery, or opt for an aviation fuel supplier who, although might charge a bit higher, but is known for its time-efficiency and other value-added services.  

2. Don’t forget to compare!

This brings us to the next important step of your purchase. Whenever we shop for something, we check their market value. Comparing and contrasting with other suppliers for the quality of the product and their services can provide you with convenience and value for your money, both. Consequently, use Fuelworx to ensure that your supplier is selling you fuel on the market value and not beyond that through. Being alert of the supplier that is fuelling the aircraft results in appropriate fuel consumption for the right operations. Whereas, an incorrect supplier fuelling your aircraft could lead to billing at a different rate. 

3. Be aware of all the legal requirements

As an aircraft operator, purchasing aviation fuel, Air Operator Certificate (AOC) should be shown to the fueler. Accordingly, ensure that all relevant and official documentation is seen and checked prior to fuelling and mentioned in the delivery ticket. It will not only help you avoid future delays but will also allow you to gain further exemptions at the price, depending on supplier and country regulations.

4. Always Pre-Plan your Aviation Fuel Purchase

Having purchased fuel prior to reading this, you would know that advance notice is highly recommended when requesting aviation fuel. Well, if you didn’t know where to go, now you do! So, you have to give an advance notice, confirm fuel delivery, and provide all the other relevant information (i.e., special aircraft parking locations, fuel handling notes, legal documentation) before actually making the purchase to see if the supplier agrees with your location, terms, and conditions. 

5. Do you know you have to look out for Aircraft Fuelling Hazards? 

Aircraft refuelling involves several attendant hazards, which if not managed, can lead to some serious consequences – putting lives of thousands in danger. These risks occur from potential fuel leakages from tanks, failures of fuel lines or some other procedural errors. This can lead to the ignition of fuel from just one single spark. Therefore, any electrostatic energy release can ignite the fuel vapour, causing a blast. 

Some common scenarios involve blasts from refuelling, following improper attachment. Some accidents are also caused by over-fuelling, where aircraft are forced to turn back around. These scenarios generally occur from faulty manual checks or performance errors. Therefore, fueling and refuelling shouldn’t be taken lightly. Static dissipaters must be added to reduce the risk involved.

Some Common Myths Fuel Shoppers Hold Regarding Fuel:

1)   Lead is not that Toxic

Aviation fuel such as avgas contains certain amounts of Lead. Aviation fuel shoppers believe Lead not to be toxic at all, which is a common misconception. According to recent studies, Lead can seriously damage the brain and can lead to some significant health issues. Once released in the atmosphere, it does not break down and tends to stick to the ground. 

Planes can easily switch to unleaded fuel after receiving a permit. However, large planes will still require leaded fuel to fly to long distances.

2)  Wasn’t Lead Removed from Aviation Fuel Years Ago

This is another myth that many people hold regarding aviation fuel. The reality is, according to a study, almost 50% of lead emissions in the US are from piston-engine aircraft. These Lead emissions need to be controlled as they pose a great threat to public health. 

3)  It’s not Possible to Buy Unleaded Fuel for Airplanes

This is not true; leaded fuel is becoming pricey day-by-day, which is causing airlines to purchase unleaded fuel. Besides, fuel companies are also working on bringing more options to more airports. 

Wrapping it Up

If you are looking for an aircraft support and flight operations service, then opt for Flightworx. We specialize in offering a series of aircraft services, 24/7 with our dedicated team of professionals. To find out more, visit our website Flightworx.

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