Contaminated Fuel At Barbados Airport – Adrian Loveridge Talks About Contingency Planning

A Bad Day At Grantley Adams International Airport

Barbados Airport JetCan we really learn some lessons from the events of the 22 May?

We had over 40 persons to meet of three different flights that day.

ZM drivers had been arranged to meet then based on scheduled and quoted arrival flight times.

Close to the original arrive times it became obvious that there were going to be delays, so the sensible thing to do was to first check with the airline.

One major carrier hadn’t even changed its local recorded flight arrival announcement since 9am that morning, despite the aircraft being diverted to St. Lucia and eventually landing at 4pm.  On checking its website, the announcement stated that both the inbound and outbound flights were canceled.

Another airline had not updated its recorded announcement since 11am that morning, again relating to a flight that should have landed at 9.50pm but finally arrived at nearly 2am the following morning.

Yes! We eventually extracted that it was a problem with fuel, but this should have not taken anyone here by surprise. Where does our A1 aviation fuel come from, and who had been having the problem with contaminated fuel for days?

Trinidad of course!

Also knowing the vast amounts of taxpayers monies invested in the various pipelines from Oistins and massive storage facilities at the airport, did we really not have two or three days supply of non-contaminated fuel?

I cannot understand why airlines the size and reputation of some of the carriers that service Barbados, seemingly do not relate that it may be one of their relatives, an ageing grandmother, wife, child or distance friend that could be on that flight.

Just for a moment, try and imagine the worry and concern of friends and relatives meeting those flights, let alone the huge loss in productivity and expenses related to the delays.

For the sake of a Manager taking the responsible of ensuring simply basic communications to the people that actually pay your salary, it reminds us that we are still a long way from making ‘tourism our business’.

Grantley Adams International is now one, if not the most expensive airport to use throughout the Caribbean, extracting over $90 million in departure taxes each year alone.

If the individual airlines are unwilling to play their part in ensuring their customers are kept informed on a timely basis, then perhaps GAIC should step up to the plate.

Adrian Loveridge

7 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados

7 responses to “Contaminated Fuel At Barbados Airport – Adrian Loveridge Talks About Contingency Planning

  1. John

    http://www.nationnews.com/news/local/Dis-fuel-smell-funny-copy-for-web

    Wonder what Shell did with the jet fuel conaminated with sulphur it had in its storage tanks at Oistins and the airport?

    … perhaps the tanker that brought the new improved formulation will spirit the old sulphur contaminated stuff away ……

    …. perhaps to be refined again?

    Hope Gibbons Boggs don’t suddenly become stinky.

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  3. aviator

    many years ago we had two seperate sources of aviation fuel.pipeline from oistins supplying shell and texaco plus truck tankered supply from holborn supplying esso.
    in the interests of economy and against the wishes of airlines the truckedc supply was terminated and a single supply delivered by one supplier was left.this is the fifth time we have had a crisis due to the sole supply being compromised by industrial action…shortage or some other reason.

  4. Adrian Loveridge

    Aviator,

    Is this pennywise and poundfoolish?

    Is there anyway that ‘we’ can put a figure on what this has cost EVERYBODY?

    Surely, after spending ALL that money for the two pipelines and tank storage facilities, its like playing Russian roulette?

    Who are making these decisions?

  5. aviator

    the airport board at that time(not GAIA inc) backed the move to one intoplane supplier….in the interests of economy….esso,shell and texaco agreed to consolidate the supply using oistins pipeline only and shutting down the alternate road tanker (esso)from holborn.the airlines were worried by loss of independent supply,but were over ruled.
    antigua,st lucia(vieux fort) have also recently had diversions/disruptions due to single fuel supply issues….cost to airlines for disruptions is considerable,but we are unlikely to justify or force a return to original situation. the fuel vendors will not do this.

  6. Adrian Loveridge

    Aviator,

    Thank you for the comprehensive response, it certainly helps people like me try and understand the bigger picture.
    Has the reduction to a single fuel vendor, in itself, pushed costs up?

  7. aviator

    intoplane supplier was set up by shell,esso and texaco…this company deals with actual fuel from arrival to pumping onto aircraft. not to be confused with vendors….these are still esso,shell,texaco who market and are paid for the fuel by airlines. the intoplane company and of course GAIA inc collect a throughput fee.