Austin-Bergstrom International Airport experiences jet fuel shortage

Monday morning was simply chaotic as visitors flocked to head home out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Long lines persisted during the peak morning hours.

"What we saw yesterday morning was a really high volume of scheduled flights, a high volume of passengers, a lot more than usual," said Sam Haynes, ABIA spokesperson.

More than 28,000 passengers flew out of ABIA. The airport said anything above 26,000 is a lot. The chaos just shows how popular the airport is becoming. More flights are constantly being added, and fuel is in high demand. In fact, Monday, fuel supply came into question.

"The fueling operator issued a jet fuel shortage alert. That means the supply of jet fuel dipped below two days of supply," said Haynes.

The industry average for reserves is five to seven days. Luckily no flights were affected, this time. 

Haynes say fuel supply issues have caused flights to redirect elsewhere to fill up before. As of now Austin only has a storage facility equipped with two tanks.

"That’s the original facility that was constructed with the airport opened in 1999. It’s a case of the airport outgrowing that infrastructure," said Haynes.

To address the growing pains, the city picked a new spot on airport property on the northbound side of Highway 183 for a new jet fuel storage facility, but people who live close by are not for it.

"My community is opposed to the proposed location of the jet fuel spot with it being about 500 feet from the nearest resident, it is just too close for comfort," said Vanessa Fuentes, Austin City Council District Two.

The airport sits in council member Fuentes' district. She feels if the city uses this location, concerns for working class people in that area of town would be overlooked.

"We have a history of environmental injustices. We had the fuel farm on the eastside that took years to uncover, address and to stop," said Fuentes.

Airport officials said the spot was carefully chosen, and considered land development code compatibility, operational requirements and environmental safety.

The city council will be briefed on the topic on Tuesday, April 5.

Austin airport struggles with long TSA wait times, fuel shortage

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