Torrance Airport Commissioner Responds to Misinformation on ”Jet Fuel”

Torrance Airport Commission Chairman Jim Gates states the obvious, and understands that banning “jet fuel” does not reduce airport airport operations. In fact, jet fuel or a better term “Turbine Fuel” will become the way of the future as aviation fuel for small aircraft is phased out. To read the story click “Read More” below. Sunday Letters to the Editor
Staff Writer
Article Launched: 06/14/2008 06:45:07 PM PDT


Get the facts on jet fuel


Michael Wermer’s letter in the June 6 Daily Breeze contains fabrications and serious misrepresentations of fact. The Torrance Airport Commission’s committee findings are:

1) The policy prohibiting the sale of jet fuel at the Torrance Airport does not restrict or discourage jet aircraft from using the Torrance Airport,
2) removing the ban will not attract any more jet aircraft to the airport than would normally come and
3) the policy has produced adverse and unintended effects on surrounding neighborhoods.

As result of the study, the committee recommends that the ban on sale of jet fuel at the airport should be ended for the following reasons:

  • Increased safety: If jet fuel was available at our airport, departures with low fuel reserves or using emergency measures would be eliminated and safety margins will be increased (source: Torrance operations staff and Pratt & Whitney Customer Service).


  • Reduced flight operations: If jet fuel were available at Torrance, extra round-trip flights from Torrance just to refuel at neighboring airports would be eliminated – decreasing the total number of jet flights from the airport (source: survey of aircraft operators, conversations with airport operations, conversations with control tower chief and talks with other airport managers).


  • Increased revenue: The fuel flowage fees for an estimated 10,000 gallons/month of jet fuel now go to surrounding cities.
    Airport businesses at those airports benefit from these sales, but the extra flights occur at Torrance. If jet fuel were available at our airport, those flowage fees and taxes will be captured by the city of Torrance, and local businesses will benefit (source: operator survey, discussions with airport business owners).


  • Reduced future operations growth: The use of general aviation as a more attractive and convenient alternative to commercial airlines will cause more aircraft of all types to use our airport in the future (source: General Aviation Manufacturers Association). New technology diesel engines, which use jet fuel, will replace gasoline piston power in many existing and new aircraft (source: Cessna, Teledyne Continental, Thielert, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). If jet fuel is available, the increasing number of extra flights just to refuel at neighboring airports that result from this growth will be eliminated.
  • Support for emergency operations: The Torrance Alternate Emergency Operations Center is located at the airport. During a serious area emergency, that center would become a hub of activity for the entire South Bay. Aircraft and helicopters responding to that emergency will use the airport as a center of activity, and many of them will require jet fuel.


    We welcome attendance by all at the commission meetings, but we would like to be sure area residents have the facts. Copies of the study are available at the airport office.


    Chairman, Torrance Airport Commission

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