Fuel sales have dropped at Upper Cumberland Regional Airport
By Kim Swindell Wood | July 11, 2019 1:04 pm
By Ron Moses
On July 9, Upper Cumberland Regional Airport Manager Dean Selby requested permission from the board of directors for a Request For Proposal for fuel suppliers.
The RFP is a solicitation through the bidding process. Selby told the board the request isn’t based on any issue the airport has had with its current supplier, Shell Oil.
“We don’t have a contract with them [Shell]”, said Selby. “And with us being a government entity, the way it has been explained to me and the way I understand the government regulations … we are supposed to be under contract to buy fuel from somebody.”
Selby said the contract is supposed to be a negotiated bid contract.
“So, we have to put out an RFP to make sure that we are doing everything by the book,” he said.
Total fuel sales have dropped since June of last year. Aviation fuel, otherwise known as Avgas, sales decreased from 6,317 to 3,572 gallons sold. Jet fuel sales increased from 8,445 gallons sold last June to 12,523 gallons sold last month. Last year, at this time, the airport sold 7,907 gallons Erlanger Jet fuel. This June, none was sold.
Also approved was a proposal to lease hangars to specific aircraft.
“What we don’t want happening is someone leasing a hanger, selling their aircraft and then using that hanger for storage of miscellaneous materials,” said Selby.
Selby said he doesn’t think they have specifically had a problem with that issue.
“But, we also don’t have a good count of what we have,” he said. “By doing this, I will know who is on the field, what aircraft is on the field.”
Selby said the Federal Aviation Administration requires a system that tells them what aircraft are on the field. The current process requires someone to go from hangar to hangar and aircraft to aircraft to see what is on the field. With the new system, they will know what aircraft is in which hangar.
Selby also informed the board the maintenance grant promised by Tennessee Department of Transportation to the airport was not available for use in July and may decrease from $25,740 to $15,000. If true, the board agreed Selby should draft a letter to be sent to the four governments representing the airport to request they send letters to TDOT on behalf of the municipalities.
“Our problem is they told us after our fiscal year was done and we already got the budgets in place set on that price,” said Selby.
Selby said conversations about the grant are ongoing.
In other business, the taxiway lighting project is nearly complete, according to officials.