Victoria Regional Airport signs with new fuel supplier, Eastern Aviation Fuels, Inc.

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

May 14, 2012 at 12:14 a.m.

After months of trying to work out a fuel contract, Victoria Regional Airport opted to go a different route.

Victoria County Commissioners rescinded the airport's two-year-old contract with Ascent Aviation Group/World Fuel Services and awarded a bid Monday morning for aviation fuel and service to Eastern Aviation Fuels Inc.

Airport Manager Jason Milewski said Eastern Aviation will lease a 5,000 gallon Jet A fuel truck and a 1,000 gallon aviation gas truck from the airport, which will save the airport money on maintenance costs.

The contract with Ascent had gone month-to-month in December at the end of the annual contract, Milewski said.

Ascent was awarded another year's contract, but because the company and the airport could not settle on the terms of the agreement, the airport decided to go with a new fuel supplier, Milewski said.

He said the hang ups were with operational problems and the company's personnel turnover since World Fuel Services took over Ascent Aviation Group at the beginning of the year.

"It was hard to get a solid contact," Milewski said. "But they were great to work with."

County Judge Don Pozzi said the December to May period was actively full of negotiations between the airport and Ascent on the contract terms.

Now that a new fuel contract has been secured, the airport can continue to focus on finding an airline service to take over since Memphis-based Colgan Air, Inc. announced in March its intention to end service in Victoria.

Milewski said he planned to keep bidding open for 15 days and hoped to have a contract secured in the next two to three weeks.

"It's a tough market for airlines right now," Milewski said.

Pozzi remained optimistic.

"I think everything is going very well at the airport," Pozzi said. "At this time, commercial air service is essential to Victoria County."



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