Aviation fuel quarantined nationwide, severe shortage expected

Aviation gasoline (Avgas) supplies in Canada have been quarantined due to a reported quality control problem with fuels delivered since late December, and several airports have already started to run out, says the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA).

COPA reports that in an interview with FlightFuels spokesman Craig Tanselli, the association was told that the contamination originated with a production problem at an Esso refinery in Edmonton. That refinery produces all the Avgas for the whole country, says COPA. Tanselli stated that his company is checking inventories but, in the interim, no Avgas sales are being permitted. Several airports have already issued NOTAMs (Notices To Airmen) advising they cannot sell Avgas as a result of the quarantine.

Avgas is mainly used in general aviation for smaller, propeller-driven aircraft. The production issue does not affect jet fuel, so large airlines which mostly rely on jets for their service will be unaffected.

The quarantine is likely to spell big trouble for flight schools and smaller regional airlines, however, as the airplanes used by those companies almost exclusively utilize Avgas.