CHARLESTOWN, Nevis: The Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) will improve its finances with the installation of US$73,000 of aviation refuelling equipment at the airport in Newcastle. The 8,000 gallon AV-Gas tank, purchased from the U.S. and installed last week, will be used to satisfy the demand for this fuel from the roughly 112 piston aircraft which call at the airport each month.
“We have estimated the returns to be roughly in the vicinity of US$12,000 per month, said NASPA’s general manager, Spencer Hanley. “We believe that with cost and everything we should make our money back within 12 months and going forward it is an important factor for us.
“Av-gas is used in piston engine airplanes and it is a way for us to boost our revenue here at the airport in Nevis. We have on average 112 piston engine aircraft flights that comes here every single month and those are the types of aircraft that take that type of fuel,” he said.
Hanley said that there had been an expressed interest for the availability of the AV-Gas fuel.
“We constantly get inquiries both by telephone and online from aircrafts and air carriers, inquiring whether or not we have AV-gas. It was because of that we were prompted to move into this direction because, around here, I don’t think it is sold in St. Kitts either and I think the nearest place to Nevis where you can get Av-Gas is St. Maarten. So Nevis again is taking the lead forward in an effort to boost its tourism product and to move things forward.”
Hanley said that the availability of the new fuel would be welcome news for piston engine aircraft already utilizing the airport.
“The new investment would also complement the availability of Jet A1 fuel already being offered at Newcastle Airport,” he said, adding that it would be a profitable venture for the Authority.
“What we have established here is a situation whereby regardless of which type of aircraft you have or what type of fuel your aircraft takes we have the capacity and the availability to provide fuel for you,” he said.
Hanley also said that two new airlines would soon be providing air access to Nevis. Cape Air and Air Sunshine, both piston engine aircrafts, would connect Nevis with San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning November 11 and December 1 respectively.
Air Sunshine, the smaller of the two, will connect Nevis with San Juan via St. Thomas Virgin Islands.